South Korea wants to plant its flag on Mars by 2045

South Korea wants to plant its flag on Mars by 2045
South Korea wants to plant its flag on Mars by 2045

LSouth Korea has confirmed its goal of sending a probe to the Moon by 2032, and wants to plant its flag on Mars by 2045, President Yun Suk Yeol said on Thursday.

“I always thought there was an infinite dream and future in space,” the president said Thursday, presenting a plan dedicated to space exploration.

South Korea placed its “Danuri” probe, launched a few months earlier aboard a SpaceX rocket, into lunar orbit in December 2022.

A new stage

The country took a further step in its space program in May 2023, with the success of the third firing of its nationally designed rocket, Nuri. Three more Nuri launches will be carried out by 2027, Minister of Science and Technology Lee Jong-ho said last year.

KASA, based on the NASA model, will be headed by the American of Korean origin John Lee, who worked there for 30 years. The agency’s immediate objective is South Korean participation in the Artemis 3 lunar mission, which is to take place in 2026 under the auspices of the United States.

Yun Suk Yeol promised to “increase the budget allocated to space development to 1.5 trillion won (around 1 billion euros) by 2027”, or double the current envelope.

The country could spend 100,000 billion won (67 billion euros) on space exploration by 2045, he said.

The president also aims to make the city of Sacheon (southwest), where the new space agency has been installed, the “Toulouse of Asia”, referring to the capital of Occitanie, whose the neighboring town of Blagnac is home to the Airbus management headquarters.

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