South Korea aims to land on Mars in 2045 with its own NASA
President Yoon has promised to double the government’s budget for space development in the next 5 years, which includes about 75 billion dollars by 2045, a vast expansion compared to South Korea’s space budget in 2022 of 553 million. The upcoming space agency, currently referred to as Korea Aerospace Administration (KASA), will be established under the Ministry of Science and ICT, with plans to bring several other agencies and departments under the KASA umbrella to bring the agency plans to light.
President Yoon is determined to land on Mars, which is a new agenda for South Korean space exploration. “By 2045, we will be able to plant our national flag on Mars,” he said, emphasizing the technology to come with the collaboration of various companies. President Yoon will be directly overseeing the five-year plan detailing the travel to Mars as Chair of the National Space Council.
Missions to the moon and Mars have been a global phenomenon, along with the increased budget for space agencies in almost every country as they witnessed NASA’s Orion capsule orbit the moon. Exploring the surface of Mars is important for South Korea, whose first lunar orbiter Danuri was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in August, albeit rather drastically increasing space spending.
Part of the mission is mining lunar resources and developing space-based solar power and future dietary supplements, all of which are working toward the goal of studying the moon and Mars under the new space agency. Regarding space security with NASA’s Artemis mission followed by China’s crew-launching moon rocket, the president put an emphasis on the Korea-US alliance, saying, “We will develop it into the Korea-US space alliance and expand space security under cooperation with the international community.”
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