In the next decade or so, it would be possible to see a Korean version of SpaceX spacecraft fly into space for missions.
The South Korean government on Monday announced the country’s mid-to-long term space development project that aims to actively promote a private company-led development of rockets and spacecraft.
At the National Space Committee held on Monday and chaired by Science and ICT Minister Yoo Young-min, the government finalized the third basic space development plan revised from the previous one established in 2013. The roadmap includes the nation’s five-year-term space exploration goals (2018-2022) and long-term space development vision by 2040.
Under the plan, the government will complete the first stage of its lunar exploration project by 2020 and the second stage aiming at landing an indigenous spaceship on the moon by 2030. To achieve its bold space exploration goals, the government will actively encourage the country’s private companies to develop and manufacture rockets and spacecraft. The government will first promote private companies to develop satellites and launch them by 2026.
Korea is far behind other nations such as the U.S., Japan and European countries in the development of spaceships and rockets. In the countries with advancement in space development, space exploration projects are actively led not only by the government but also by private companies. In the U.S., the SpaceX project led by Elon Musk has already succeeded in launching a number of spacecraft to and beyond Earth orbit.
The Korean government also plans to set up its own space GPS system Korea Positioning System (KPS) encompassing the Korea Peninsula and its surrounding areas and start the service in 2035 to obtain location information more stably.
By Won Ho-sup and Choi Mira
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