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News Release

“Opening of a New Chapter for Korea-US Space Cooperation” Signing of Korea-US Lunar Probe Implementation Agreement (December 30)

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  • Registration Date 2016-12-31
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- Korea to manage the manufacturing and operation of the orbiter and the US to manufacture some payloads and support communications and navigation

□ The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) disclosed that they signed the Cooperation Implementation Agreement on Lunar Orbiter Mission (Implementation Agreement) with US NASA on December 30.

□ The Implementation Agreement stipulates the details and method of cooperation for the development and operation of the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) for testing to be launched in 2018.

□ KARI, which is the managing agency for the lunar probe, conducted the feasibility study in cooperation for lunar probe with NASA in July 2014 and has been negotiating for cooperation details and methods for two years.

○ According to the Implementation Agreement, Korea will have the overall responsibility for manufacturing and operation of the entire lunar orbiter system while the US will develop the types of payloads that are not duplicated with type that Korea will load and load them in the lunar orbiter that Korea will develop. Each country will assume the cost of its role.

○ For loading the payload developed by the US in the lunar orbiter developed by Korea, the US will support the communications, tracking, and navigation needed to successfully operate the lunar orbiter using the deep space ground station owned by NASA.

○ In addition, both countries will form the joint science team to conduct the scientific research using the data observed through the lunar orbiter to acquire the scientific knowledge needed for manned or unmanned space exploration in the future.

□ The Korean Government intends to carry out planet exploration through international cooperation in phases until 2040, based on the Long-term Plan for Space Development established in 2013. This cooperation for a lunar probe will be the first step.

□ This cooperation for a lunar probe will be the first concrete cooperative effort since the Korea-US Space Cooperation Agreement became effective in November 3 and is expected to play the role of priming water for expansion of space cooperation between Korea and the US.

□ Based on the Implementation Agreement the NASA payloads to be in the lunar probe for testing will be selected in February of this year, and then the working level discussion on deep space navigation and the design of the lunar orbiter main body and system design will bedecided on.
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