S Korea aims to launch full-fledged space agency in May

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Seoul, January 11 (IANS): South Korea's science ministry on Thursday said it aims to launch a full-fledged space agency in May, with the nation seeking to join the ranks of advanced nations of spaceflight.

The planned launch of the Korea AeroSpace Administration (KASA), which came as the National Assembly passed a set of Bills this week, was one of President Yoon Suk Yeol's campaign promises, Yonhap news agency reported.

In line with the planned launch of KASA, the Ministry of Science and ICT said it set an ambitious target of capturing 10 per cent of the global spaceflight market in 2045.

Science Minister Lee Jong-ho told reporters that KASA is expected to help South Korea "find a new growth engine by facilitating the aerospace industry."

Lee called the planned launch of KASA "a great step" to send a spacecraft to the Moon in 2032 and explore Mars in 2045, the report said.

KASA will be in charge of leading the country's space programmes as well as aeronautics and space research, including the Moon and Mars exploration projects.

In 2022, South Korea announced its plan for spaceflight, including a project to land a spacecraft on the Moon in 2032 and on Mars in 2045.

With the establishment of KASA, South Korea plans to foster more than 2,000 space-related companies and create about 500,000 new jobs, the ministry said in a statement.