Saturday Scenes

Fri 6 September 2013

So, about that moon landing…

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:09

On the 31st of August in 1998, North Korea’s first satellite, 광명성 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1), was launched. Despite the fact that no objects were ever tracked in orbit after the launch, the North Korean government declared the launch a success and claimed that the satellite was in medium Earth orbit.

Media reports claimed that the spacecraft was broadcasting the melodies of two immortal revolutionary hymns / marching songs, “The Song of General Kim Il Sung” and “The Song of General Kim Jong Il.” The official report said the satellite was also broadcasting the “Juche, Korea” signal in Morse code at a frequency of 27 megahertz. The media report also listed the specific parameters of the satellite’s orbit.

This landmark North Korean science and technological breakthrough had one major flaw. No satellite was ever detected at an orbit with the officially mentioned parameters. U.S. and Russian tracking stations were unable to locate the spacecraft, which, as North Korea claimed, was swiftly revolving around the planet and broadcasting signals and melodies. Incidentally, no signals or melodies were received at any of the announced frequencies or any other frequencies.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continued to report on the satellite’s success for fourteen years. Only when the third satellite, 《광명성―3》호 2호기 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2) lifted off in 2012 and was internationally recognised as being in orbit did the Kim Jong-un admit that the launch was the first successful one for North Korea.

On the 31st of August in 2013, the following photographs were taken to document Saturday successes which have also been internationally recognised:

And here’s the brave photographers who launched them:

In August, Satscenes submissions were way down! We’d love to see more photographs from all of you. This weekend, take a moment to grab a photograph at home or outside and share it with all of us. It doesn’t need to be a special occasion, it just needs to be Saturday!

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