South Korea began transporting the nation's first lunar orbiter to the United States ahead of its launch via a SpaceX rocket next month.
According to the Ministry of Science and ICT on Tuesday, the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter also known as Danuri departed from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute at around 10 a.m., bound for Incheon International Airport in a specially designed container.
Once it is flown to Orlando International Airport, Danuri will be transported overland to Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Thursday.
After a month of maintenance, assembly and other preparations, the lunar orbiter is set to launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 8:24 a.m. on August 3, Korea time.
Expected to reach the Moon's orbit by December, Danuri's year-long mission will include observing lunar activity, looking for potential landing sites for future missions and verifying space-based internet technology.