North Korea claimed to have delivered a satellite into the orbit, for being like a concealed check of missile technology. Even though originally it appeared that the satellite was not operating, its orbit now seemingly has been stabilized, thus suggesting it to be North Korea’s most successful satellite just yet.
However, an unknown US defense official reported that the said Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite was “tumbling in orbit,” which mean that the satellite was not able to function properly and was typically useless. But just yesterday, another official stated that, “It’s in a reliable orbit now. They got the collapsing under control.”
The satellite, in a polar orbit stands at around 500 kilometers (310 miles), which still doesn’t seem to be transmitting any signals, which apparently tells that it is not in full operation yet. The final satellite launched in December 2012, had experienced the same problems and was unable to recuperate in that instance. Now, if this satellite would become stable, and when communication begins to open, it’d be considered as a significant step to remote countries.
“The Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite is an Earth observation satellite intended to monitor agricultural output,” according to Ars Technica.
The launch seemingly have been timed to correspond with Kim Jong-il, the late leader’s birthday on February 16, as the satellite flew in the finale of the most recent Superbowl held in the U.S..
Specialists are ongoing to check its orbit, to consider any key modifications in its interest while the satellite is stable for the time being. “If we would notice a remarkable change in altitude that may imply [the orbit] will decay,” as stated by the spokesperson of the U.S. Strategic Demand, Martin O’Donnell, suggesting that it’d re-enter the atmosphere and burn up.
North Korea remains to ensure that the launch was for peaceful scientific purposes, notwithstanding the statements from others that the isolated country was flouting a ban on testing missile technology. After the launch, it was documented that they had discovered debris from the rocket booster which used to take the satellite into the orbit.