SEOUL, March 15 (Korea Bizwire) – The head of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) has said plans for research into the development of reusable rockets are underway.
The new initiative will see South Korea develop its own version of Space X’s reusable launch system, with the blueprints for the project set to be established sometime this year, said KARI director Lim Cheol-ho, who spoke to the press during a meeting at a restaurant in Seoul on Wednesday.
Lim emphasized the U.S., Russia, the EU and Japan are already launching rockets to carry satellites into orbit, and that it was imperative for South Korea to develop reusable rockets to maintain competitiveness in the rapidly growing aerospace industry.
“While the likes of Space X reuse rockets, it will be impossible for us to compete in terms of economic feasibility,” Lim said while explaining the new plans.
Lim said a review would be launched to weigh whether to follow in the footsteps of Space X with regard to technology and affordability, or develop South Korea’s own independent technology.
“The review will last less than a year and will most likely end within this year,” Lim added.
A number of other projects were discussed during the meeting, including a technology development project for a quad-tilt prop-type vertical takeoff and landing drone which is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, and a 54 billion won project for unmanned moving vehicles which will continue over the next three years.
Geosynchronous satellites for environmental observation 2A and 2B are slated to be launched this year and next year, while plans are in the works to launch a lunar probe in 2020, which could become South Korea’s very first moon landing project.
Lim also told the press about the establishment of a ‘Visit Task Force’ consisting of young researchers, with the hopes dreaming big and growing into an international aerospace research institution.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)