South Korea Successfully Launches Satellite

February 24, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings 
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. launch 
[lawnch, lahnch] (n.) – the act of shooting something into the air, water or space
Example: Many people criticized North Korea’s surprise rocket launch last December.

2. satellite [SAT-l-ahyt] (n.) – a natural or man-made space object that revolves around a larger space object
Example: The moon is the Earth's natural satellite.

3. orbit [AWR-bit(n.) – the circular path of a space object as it moves around something

Example: Planets follow their own orbits as they move around the suns

4. monumental [mon-yuh-MEN-tl(adj.) – historic or very important
Example: Neil Armstrong's moon landing is one of man's most monumental space achievements.

5. precede [pri-SEED(v.) – to come before something
Example: Two failed launches preceded the latest rocket launch.

Read the text below.

After two unsuccessful launches, South Korea has finally sent its own satellite into space.

South Korea, together with Russia, created the 140-ton rocket that was launched last month from the Naro Space Center, 480km away from Seoul.

Science Minister Lee Ju-ho confirmed that the rocket, also named Naro, was in the right orbit. Lee said the rocket released the satellite 540 seconds after the rocket took off.

Lee added that the rocket launch was a monumental achievement for the country, especially since South Korea wants to perform space explorations independently. In the past South Korea’s satellites had to be sent into space by other countries.

South Korea expects the recently launched satellite to collect information about the climate in space. The day after the launch, scientists at the Space Center started receiving communication and information from the satellite, proving the launch was indeed a success.

South Korea's earlier rocket launches were unsuccessful. In their first attempt to launch a satellite in 2009, the satellite failed to separate from the rocket while in their second attempt in 2010, the rocket exploded right after its launch.

The launch of South Korea’s satellite was preceded by North Korea's own rocket launch last December. North Korea’s success in putting a satellite into orbit had pressured South Korea to have a successful launch. 

Viewpoint Discussion 
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Why do you think a lot of countries want to launch rockets into space?
·         In your opinion, do achievements like rocket launching improve a country’s international image? Why do you think so?

Discussion B

·         Do you think a country should prioritize exploring outer space? Why or why not?
·         How can learning about outer space help people on Earth?


February 24, 2013