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S. Korea's homegrown spacecraft to moon project on track: science ministry

By Yonhap

Published : Oct. 30, 2023 - 19:45

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South Korea launches the homegrown Nuri rocket for the third time, on May 25, from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. (Ministry of Science and ICT) South Korea launches the homegrown Nuri rocket for the third time, on May 25, from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. (Ministry of Science and ICT)

South Korea's science ministry said Monday its project to develop a homegrown spacecraft to the moon has passed through a preliminary feasibility study and will officially begin next year.

With the passage of the 530 billion won ($392.9 million)-project, the Ministry of Science and ICT plans to develop a 1.8-ton spacecraft to land on the moon in 2032 as part of the country's plan to begin exploring lunar resources under its ambitious road map for a "future space economy."

The spacecraft is expected to be equipped with homegrown equipment to detect and avoid obstacles on the moon's surface for a successful landing.

The ministry said it will begin the project next year to complete the development of the spacecraft by 2028, test its soft landing in 2031 and officially launch the spacecraft in 2032 to land on the moon and explore its surface.

The spacecraft will be loaded on South Korea's homegrown next-generation space vehicle, the ministry added.

Last year, President Yoon Suk Yeol announced the country's plan to land a spacecraft on the moon in 2032 and on Mars in 2045. (Yonhap)