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South Korea is Planning to Send a Mission to Mars by 2045

It is truly wonderful to see so many nations aspiring to space exploration and trips to the Moon. Earlier this week on the 27th May, South Korea innaugurated its new space agency, the Korea AeroSpace Administration otherwise known as KASA. The group is headed up by former professor of aerospace engineering Yoon Young-bin. Whilst the group has yet to announce detailed plans for their upcoming missions Young-bin has stated they hope to land on the Moon by 2032 and to get to Mars by 2045.

The President of Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol, had confirmed that the government was committed to the space sector. To that end, they intend to secure investments of billions of dollars to fund the project. In March this year Korean Space Agency was formed in a ceremony that took place in March this year. Suk-yeol pleduged to facilitate 1,000 space companies and he hoped that 10 of the companies would become top-tier space firms. They would work hard to increase Korea’s share of the space market, aiming to hit 10% instead of the existing 1%. and create over 100,000 jobs. 

The Korean goverment has for sometime been keen to expand the space industry, Young-bin also prioritised support for the private sector. “The establishment of KASA will be an important stepping stone that guides the way for Korea to become a powerhouse in space economy by setting up the private-led space ecosystem,” Young-bin said. 

Young-bin is no stranger to space exploration since he had been researching space propulsion at the time of his appointment. His research chiefly focuses on liquid rocket engine. He has also been a serving director of the Institute of Advanced Aerospace Technology. 

Mid to long term goals and visions for space development are important next steps along the journey. To achieve those, KASA are striving for active cooperation from public, private and academic sectors. All of this is of course subject to securing the necessary funding. 

The framework for operations of KASA have been established and will be implemented with a maximum of 293 employees. Currenly only 110 are in place which includes a number of officials who were originally part of the Science Ministry in Korea. With the establishment of KASA, the Ministry of Science and ICT have been reorganised to align to their reduced scope of work but to find the remaining employees KASA will continue to search at home and abroad for the right people.

Along with their plans to explore the Moon and Mars, KASA is also planning to explore the Lagrangian Point known as L4. These regions in space lie along the Earth’s orbit and usually a little ahead or a litle behind but at these points, the gravitational force of the Earth and that of the Sun balance out against each other making for a highly efficient location for a probe. No country has acehived this yet so it will really put KASA on the international space exploration map.

They also plan to restore the Apophis mission which had been scrapped some years ago. The asteroid will pass close by Earth in 2029. The plan is for this to become an international mission, calling upon international co-operation. Other projects include participation in the Event Horizon Telescope and black hole imaging from one of NASA’s solar coronagraph.

Source : Korea ushers in new space era with KASA launch


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