April 2006 
Volume 04, Issue 11 
Industry Wrap

South Korea seeking its own space program

South Korea is making advances in an effort to create a self-reliant space program.

According to the Korea Herald newspaper, the nation plans to complete a space center, launch two more satellites and develop the country's first satellite launch vehicle by next year. These achievements would accompany its nine active and decommissioned satellites, along with ongoing plans to put a Korean citizen in space by 2008.

The state-funded Korea Aerospace Research Institute plans to develop the nation's first satellite launch vehicle, in a joint project with Russian scientists, the Herald said. Named KSLV-1, short for Korea Space Launch Vehicle, it will be designed to put a 100-kilogram (220-pound) payload into low orbit. Plans call for KSLV-1 to launch the "Science and Technology Satellite 2" next year at its new space center, the Herald said.

According to the Herald, Korea hopes to put 20 satellites into orbit by 2015. This total includes eight multipurpose satellites, seven science satellites and five geostationary orbit satellites, a government official of the science ministry's space technology development division told the newspaper.

These efforts supplement Korea's plans to put an astronaut into space by 2008. According to the Herald report, the astronaut will travel to the International Space Station via the Russian Soyuz space vehicle to conduct various tasks involving science experiments while residing in the Russian module of the ISS for 10 days.

Only a handful of nations have the capacity to manufacture rockets, or satellite-launch vehicles.

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