Yoon wants S. Korea to become one of world’s top space powers

Mar 14, 2024, 10:32 am

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President Yoon Suk-yeol takes part in a ceremony launching a space industry cluster at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in Sacheon, 296 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on March 13, 2024./ Courtesy of Presidential Office

AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi

President Yoon Suk-yeol vowed on Wednesday to increase the budget for space development to over 1.5 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) by 2027 and attract more than 100 trillion won in private investment by 2045.

Yoon made the remarks during a ceremony launching a new space industry cluster at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in Sacheon, 296 kilometers southeast of Soeul. He said the journey for South Korea to join the ranks of the world’s top five space powers has begun.

The space industry cluster is a project aimed at fostering the private-led space industry, which is comprised of a three-way system of South Jeolla Province focusing on rockets, South Gyeongsang Province on satellites and Daejeon on fostering talents.

Sacheon, which is in South Gyeongsang Province, will be home to the Korea AeroSpace Administration (KASA), the nation’s equivalent of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), when it launches it May.

“In the not-too-far future, strong space powers that lead the space economy will take part in the world,” Yoon said in congratulatory remarks. Yoon stressed that the nation’s third miracle will involve space. 

Yoon said the cluster is expected to foster 1,000 space companies and grow at least 10 of them into “world-class space companies.” He also vowed to secure more than 10 percent of the global space industry market by 2045, and create over 250,000 jobs by 2045.

Yoon said the government will construct key infrastructure that the private sector cannot build alone, such as a civilian rocket launch facility and a space environment simulation laboratory, adding that the government will push to speed up the construction of a national industrial complex for space launch vehicles in South Jeolla Province, and complete the construction of a national aerospace industrial complex in South Gyeongsang Province by the end of the year.

The president also vowed to set up a space technology human resource development center in Daejeon by the end of 2028, and to more than double the government-private space fund created last year by 2027.

#space power #KAI #KASA #South Korea #Yoon Suk-yeol 
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