For a long time, South Korea relied on Russia to strengthen its presence in space. But with the Vladimir Putin-ordered invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Asians focused on working with their own technology.
With North Korea’s threats always latent, it will always be necessary for the South to remain vigilant, and the space race emerges as a key element.
In June 2022, the country launched its first nationally manufactured rocket, the Nuri, from the Naro Space Center, in the southwest area of Goheung. It served to put several satellites into orbit, occurring after a failed attempt in 2021.
By last December, South Korea successfully held a test flight of the nation’s first built solid-fuel space rocket.
What are the next challenges for the Asian nation in its space race?
South Korea wants to achieve its space independence
Yoon Suk-yeol, the president of South Korea, explained that the route involves taking a spacecraft to the Moon in 2032 and to Mars in 2045.
“In the future, space vision countries will lead the world economy, and will be able to solve the problems humanity is currently facing,” he said during the Korea Space Forum 2022, quoted by Space News.
“The dream of becoming a power in space is not far off. It will be an opportunity and hope for children and young people”.
In addition, it seeks to increase the share in the global space economy, from the current 1% to 10% by 2045.
To do this, the country will formally create the Korea Aerospace Administration (KASA), modeled after NASA. “The Korea-US alliance will be extended to the Korea-US space alliance,” President Suk-yeol stressed. “We will expand cooperation with the international society on space security.”
goodbye to russia
Geopolitics following the Russian invasion of Ukraine led the Koreans to break relations with the Roscosmos space agency.
The approximate amount of 22 million dollars of the 45 million foreseen in the agreement for the launching of South Korean satellites into orbit had been paid.
For the moments, notes Bloomberg, South Korea does not consider collaborating with China, the closest giant. In addition to the United States, the allies could be Australia and the United Arab Emirates.