Korea intends to send the communication, ocean and meteorological satellite (COMS), the Arirang-5 multipurpose satellite, and Mugungwha-6 satellite into space in 2010.

The 2.5t COMS, developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, will observe weather conditions at a geostationary orbit 36,000km above the earth, according to the The Chosun Ilbo.

COMS will relay meteorological information every eight minutes. It will be Korea’s first home-grown weather satellite, and will allow the country to reduce its dependence on Japanese and American weather satellites.

The Arirang-5 is a 1.4t satellite equipped with a synthetic aperture radar to capture satellite images of the earth and operates at an altitude of 550km.

The Mugungwha-6 geostationary satellite, weighing 1.1t, will replace Mugunghwa-3 and relay digital broadcast signals and serve internet service available to remote Korean regions.

COMS is scheduled for lift-off in the first half of the year, followed by Mugungwha-6 in the second half and Arirang-5 at the end of 2010.