Yoon unveils ambitious space exploration goals

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks at the opening ceremony of the Korea AeroSpace Administration (KASA)  in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, Thursday. Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol said Thursday that South Korea will push for a space project to send a space exploration vehicle to the moon by 2032 and plant a national flag on Mars by 2045.

Yoon unveiled the plan to invest 100 trillion won ($72.5 billion) by 2045 during the opening ceremony of the nation’s new space agency, the Korea AeroSpace Administration (KASA), in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul.

“We will land our space exploration vehicle on the moon in 2032 and plant the Taegeukgi on Mars in 2045,” Yoon said in his opening remarks, referring to the name of the national flag.

Yoon pledged to increase the budget and investment in the space and aerospace industries to enhance their competitiveness.

“We will expand the related budget to over 1.5 trillion won by 2027 and attract about 100 trillion won in investment by 2045,” he said.

The government will also designate May 27, the establishment of KASA, as Space Aerospace Day to raise awareness of space exploration, he said.

In the face of an intensifying global space race, Yoon underscored the importance of playing a leading role in setting standards in the space and related industries.

As part of the broader scheme, South Korea plans to develop a reusable space rocket and explore deep space in cooperation with 안전 other countries. KASA said it aims to send a spacecraft to L4, one of the five Lagrange points where spacecraft tend to stay put due to minimal gravitational force.

Last year, South Korea successfully completed the third launch of the 200-ton Nuri, also known as KSLV-II, putting eight practical satellites into orbit.

It has also sent two military reconnaissance satellites carried by SpaceX rocket into orbit in December and April, respectively, to better monitor North Korea.

South Korea plans to acquire five spy satellites by 2025, and plans to acquire around 60 small and micro-sized spy satellites by 2030, which would enable the military to monitor the Korean Peninsula every 30 minutes or less.

The smaller satellites are expected to be launched on a homegrown solid-fuel space rocket currently under development. In December, the military conducted the third flight test of a solid-fuel space rocket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *