News agencies throughout Asia report
the South Korean government has confirmed a loss of contact with
its first multipurpose communications satellite.
"Our efforts to restore communication with the Arirang 1
satellite have been unsuccessful," an official with the Korea
Aerospace Research Institute said, according to Agence-France
Arirang 1 was launched on December 21, 1999 to take
high-resolution photos of the Earth's surface. A spokesman for the
institute said an equipment failure, or misalignment of solar
panels leading to drained batteries, are probably causes of the
loss of the uplink on December 30.
South Korea has deployed only three commercial communications
satellites since 1995, and just launched its first military
communications satellite in 2006.