Korea: the 7th country participating in the race to Space



In the last days of March, Korea successfully launched the first new generation mid-range CAS500 satellite.  This is a historic step for the Korean space industry, showing that Seoul is ready to catch up with the global trend of space exploration.

The new generation 1 medium-sized geostationary orbit satellite weighs about 500kg, is equipped with a high-precision photoelectric camera that can take pictures of cars at an altitude of 500km above the Earth's surface.  In the next 4 years, this satellite will be used for many different purposes such as resource management and disaster control.

 Usually, it takes more than $270 million and 7 years to develop a satellite of such level, but Seoul only costs $140 million over a five-year period.  Notably, 91% of the key components of the satellite are produced by technology "made in Korea", the design of the satellite's body and system is based on domestic technology.

Korea: the 7th country participating in the race to SpaceSeoul plans to launch the first satellite-mounted boosters in October this year. / ph: KARI

 Since the development of satellites began in the 1990s, Korea has produced 16 small satellites.  This time, however, Seoul has successfully produced a mid-sized satellite, in cooperation with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), a state agency and private enterprises.

 Based on technology transfer from KARI, Korea Aerospace Industry Corporation (KAI) is responsible for the entire development and launch of another medium-sized satellite scheduled for the first half of next year.  Seoul also plans to launch the first satellite-mounted boosters in October this year.  If the test is successful, Korea will become the 7th country in the world to own the technology to launch satellites into space, after the US, Russia, Europe, China, Japan and India.

 The space industry and the space industry are often not as far-fetched as many might imagine.  Not only rocket launches or manned spacecraft, the space industry is now seen from a business standpoint.  Morgan Stanley Investment Bank estimates the size of the global space industry to reach $1 trillion by 2040.

The administration of former US President Donald Trump has initiated the Artemis program, which brings astronauts back to the Moon.  Private companies like the SpaceX of American billionaire Elon Musk, or Virgin Galactic and the Boeing Group are actively exploring the space.  Thanks to the development of related technologies, space taxis or space travel will no longer be the curiosity of the few but will gradually become popular, as a service to the public.  

China and Russia are working hard to build a joint space station to fly to the Moon, cooperating to explore the Moon and Mars.  The US, Australia and the European Union (EU) are also cooperating in space development.

Korea is also accelerating to develop its own space technology.  Seoul has recently announced its space development strategy, aiming to become the 7th developed space country in the world.  South Korea plans to put the satellite in lunar orbit for the first time next year and realize the dream of moon landing in 2030.

Korea: the 7th country participating in the race to Space

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