Tuesday, February 26, 2008

[Korea.net News, Science / Tech, January 3 2008] Korea to enter space race in 2008

Korea’s decade-long research and development efforts in space technology will shine in 2008.

The country’s first astronaut Ko San will go into space in April. Two months later, a space center will have construction complete in Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province) and launch the country’s first domestically made satellite late in the year.

Ko, a researcher at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, will blast off into space on April 8 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for eight days of orbit. He will use a Korean-made micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) telescope to capture unexplained atmospheric phenomenon for research. Ko will also record high noise levels experienced inside operational space stations that have inconvenienced astronauts in the past.

Vice Science and Technology Minister Chung Yoon said, "The astronaut program is needed because it can provide vital know how that can form the foundation of future development in this field."

Korea’s first astronaut Ko San undergoes training inside the Soyuz spacecraft stationed at the Gagarin Space Center in Moscow on Dec. 22.Chung said the space program will help Korea create a system for selecting and training astronauts, as well as improve cooperation with Japan and Europe in the space industry.

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