In a bid to encourage its emerging domestic space sector, South Korea is pursuing a 640 billion won ($553 million) annual space budget for 2022. If given in full, it would amount to a 4% rise from this year’s 615 billion wins.
The government’s financial plan request will go through a legislative review to get authorization by the end of the year, with the country’s new budget year starting on 1st January.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance, in charge of state budget development, revealed its budget request for the space sector on 2nd September. It says that the emerging sector needs the administration’s “active investment in order to determine its own ecology.”
The ministry acknowledges the space sector’s growth potential, putting space in a pool of 10 cleverly vital sectors together with –
- Future mobility
- Quantum computing
- 6G internet
According to a document describing the request, the largest slice of it, or 172.8 billion wins, will go to “emerging and advancing the nation’s native space launch vehicle.”
- While the country is set to launch its first locally built space launch vehicle KSLV-2 —
- A three-stage liquid-propellant rocket capable of hauling up to 1,500 kilograms of payload to low Earth orbit — in October.
- It has already set off on a journey in order to build a bigger and more powerful rocket.
- The 172.8 billion wins is a fraction of the 700-billion-win South Korea is proposing in order to invest for the rollout of a next-generation space launch vehicle by 2026.
Another major space project, for which the government set aside 84.5 billion wins next year. It is determining South Korea’s own satellite navigation system, known as Korea Positioning System (KPS).
The project will start next year and take 13 years in order to complete, in which the government will spend a total of 3.7 trillion wins launching eight satellites, out of which –
- Three satellites into geosynchronous orbit
- Five into inclined geosynchronous orbit
Launching the country’s first robotic lunar orbiter, known as Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), is one more key project. For which the government is preparing to invest 19.8 billion wins. The spacecraft is set in order to launch in August 2022 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to view the moon for one year. NASA is providing an advanced lunar reconnaissance orbiter camera, nicknamed ShadowCam. This is in order to the orbiter in a show of support. In return, the KPLO will work for NASA’s moon mission finding areas with water.
In smaller projects, the government will employ 9.1 billion wins starting with five university-associated space education centers. And 5.7 billion wins launching public services that make use of satellite information.