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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Musudan-ri/Musudan-ni Missile Test Facility

Digital Globe Imagery 02 April 2009

New imagery of the Musudan-ri launch taken on 2 April 2009 and released by DigitalGlobe showed the movable service levels obscuring the launch vehicle. The enclosure around the launch vehicle probably provided an air condition clean environment for the payload, which US defense officials stated was probably a communications satellite.

The imagery was taken by the WorldView-1 satellite, which was capable of half-meter resolution pan-chromatic (black and white) imagery.

Click on the small image to view a larger version

This image, taken on 2 April 2009, showed the launch pad, the launch control center and the vehicle checkout building.

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

There was ongoing activity at the launch tower. The movable service levels enclosed the missile/launch vehicle, obscuring it from view.

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

The launch tower was configured as it had been for the previous few days, with the movable service levels enclosing the launch vehicle. There was probably a clean area around the payload to allow for air conditioning and a clean environment during the final checks. Some ground vehicle were visible, but not the unusual amount found in earlier imagery.

A larger ground support vehicle was present and it hasdbeen suggested that it was related to servicing the launch vehicle with either fuels or gases, althought this could not be confirmed.

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

Launch control center as it appeared on 2 April 2009

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

There were 3 vehicles at the site. This was less than in previous images.

Large observation windows facing the launch pad were visible on the second story of the building for the first time, due to the angle of obliquity of the satellite. The building also appeared to be a two-story structure. The building appeared to be flatter in previous imagery, as most images were taken near or at nadir.

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

There appeared to be 10 windows on the large portion of the vehicle checkout building and 5 smaller windows on the building-extension. There appeared to be no apparent ground activity at the time.

Imagery Source: DigitalGlobe

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:38:59 ZULU