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News Release

Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) presents detailed direction for space development in the next three years

  • Department Administrator
  • Registration Date 2020-08-31
  • Hits 1997
Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) presents detailed direction for space development in the next three years
- To dispel concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on space development and promote continuous investment by industry/academe/research
- To establish recommendations for space waste reduction so as to ensure sustainable space development and space environment protection

□ A total of 12 ministries jointly held the 34th Working Committee for Space Development Promotion* and finalized the “Space Development Plan for the Next Three Years (2020 - 2020)” and “Recommendation on Space Vehicle Development and Operation for Space Debris Reduction.”
* Working Committee for Space Development Promotion: A public-private joint committee under the National Space Council pursuant to Article 6 of the Space Development Promotion Act (chaired by the Deputy Minister of MSIT).

□ The “Space Development Plan for the Next Three Years (2020 - 2020)” finalized by the meeting addressed concerns over the contraction of global space development and the conservative management of R&D investment and human resources by space development entities in Korea due to strengthened national protective measures after COVID-19.
ㅇ The government held the meeting to seek sustained development by research institutes and industries and advancement of the national ecosystem for space development.
ㅇ It is the detailed action plan for the next three years reflecting the change of internal and external conditions and environment since the establishment of the “Master Plan for Space Development Promotion (2018-2022)” announced in February 2018.

□ The main contents of the “Space Development Plan for the Next Three Years (2020 - 2020)” are as follows:
1. (Successful completion of key space programs)
ㅇ Nuri, the Korean launch vehicle, is in the process of clustering four 75-ton engines as the first stage.
- Considering the fact that it is the symbolic program for future space development, an objective, professional inspection will be conducted in the second half of this year. It will be launched when there is high possibility of a successful launch.
ㅇ Although the next-generation mid-sized satellite 1 is in the final phase, the discussion with Russia -- the country manufacturing the launch vehicle -- has been partially delayed due to COVID-19.
- The plan is to launch it at the end of this year through Korea-Russia cooperation and provide high-quality public services such as national territory management.
ㅇ The development of the lunar orbit satellite is also progressing without delay after technical difficulties, such as concerns of fuel shortage, were overcome.
- The government completed the basic design for the trans-lunar trajectory adjusted through the discussion with NASA in March, and it is steadily preparing to ensure the success of Korea’s first space exploration program scheduled for 2022.

2. (To secure national strategic assets)
ㅇ The government plans to begin the follow-up program to Nuri in 2022. The follow-up program aims to improve the reliability and performance of Nuri to secure its competitiveness in the launch market and foster launch vehicle specialist companies.
- Upon completing the follow-up program, Nuri will have better injection performance and capability to launch multiple satellites.
- The follow-up program is expected to begin the preliminary feasibility study in the second half of this year to launch with the enhanced launch vehicle in 2029.
ㅇ The development of the KPS (Korea Positioning System) will be prepared with completion targeted for 2035.
- The government plans to deploy the satellite over the Korean Peninsula to provide high-accuracy PNT (Position/Navigation/Time) information.
- It intends to conduct the preliminary feasibility study jointly with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, and Korea Coast Guard and kick off implementation in 2022.
ㅇ The government expects to begin the public multi-purpose communication satellite in the geostationary orbit in 2021.
- With the launch targeted for 2027, the satellite will provide public communication service for the stable operation of communication networks and secure stable flood disaster monitoring information even in bad weather.
- It will provide SBAS signals* as well to compensate for errors in GPS navigation signals.
* Satellite-Based Augmentation System

3. (To secure sustainable space competitiveness)
ㅇ The government plans to amend the Space Development Promotion Act to prepare for the era of sustained space development and international new space.
- The amendment will establish the procedure for launch permit to prepare for the increasing demand for launching science rockets in the private sector and consider measures to promote space resource development in the era of space exploration.
- In preparation for the increase of civilian satellites in the New Space era, the amendment will add space waste reduction provisions and upgrade the space object registration procedures.
ㅇ The government will establish the plan to train space specialists to resolve the situation of limited supply of professionals with expertise.
- It will strengthen college and graduate school students’ field exercise and expand field-customized education for the job training of practicing professionals. It will also prepare an apprenticeship training program wherein MS and PhD students in the space field can directly participate in space development programs.

□ Moreover, the government established the “Recommendation for Space Vehicle Development and Operation to Reduce Space Debris” for reference by Korea’s space vehicle development and operation agencies during research and development to decrease space debris* which are thrown in earth orbit.
* A collective term referring to all artificial space objects, such as satellites and parts, abandoned due to mission termination or breakdown and fragments generated by explosion or collision
※ More than 900,000 space waste objects, including space satellite debris with diameter of 1 cm or larger, are currently orbiting around the earth at a speed of 40,000 km per hour, increasing the threat of collision with space assets.
ㅇ The recommendation is based on the Guideline for Reducing Space Debris issued by UN COPUOS in 2007.
- The government’s recommendation suggested the development standard for the developing entities to minimize space debris throughout all stages of planning, operation, and disposal.
- Its purpose is to create an environment wherein Korean entities voluntarily participate in international societies' efforts for space environmental protection.
ㅇ The main contents include technical recommendations such as design standards to prevent the collision of space vehicles, evasive maneuvers in the event of a collision, and disposal measures taking into account the remaining orbit life of 25 years after completion of the mission.
ㅇ The recommendation is to present Korea's first standard space environmental protection and improve awareness of the importance of space environment by developers.
- It is expected to promote advanced international regulation preparation and active technology development in related fields, such as space debris-collecting robots.
ㅇ The government plans to provide active support to ensure that Korea’s space development capability -- accumulated over the past 30 years -- is not shaken by COVID-19 and to ask the space development entities in the research and industry to continue to invest in enhancing the development capability, said Deputy Minister Jeong Byung-seon, who presided over the Working Committee for Space Development Promotion of the Ministry of Science and ICT.
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