NASA and Korea sign statement of intent on cooperation in space development

Saturday, November 01, 2008

See the telescope on the top right?

This is good to see. Ever since sometime around 2002 when I first came to Korea I always thought Korea had the potential to be a real player in space development if it really wanted to, and since then it's stepped up the pace in constructing a rocket launching pad in oenarodo (외나로도, 外羅老島), an island in the southwest of the country (the space centre's name is Naro Space Centre), then sending the first Korean to space as well as a plan to send its own probes into space within ten years from now. The areas where Korea and NASA will be cooperating are:
According to the statement, the two agencies agree to conduct discussions to identify new cooperative activities related to space exploration, Earth science, planetary science, human space flight and aeronautics research. The fundamental goal of these discussions will be to advance the interests of both nations through cooperation in space and aeronautics programs. A joint report is expected eight months from today's signing.

The discussions are intended to explore a wide range of potential cooperative efforts, including exchange of research data and analysis, potential contributions of scientific instruments and hardware to support future missions, and collaborative exploration architecture planning.

The discussions may also include the International Lunar Network, an ongoing multilateral initiative to establish a robotic network on the surface of the moon; the Global Exploration Strategy, a dialogue involving fourteen international space agencies for enhanced international cooperation in space exploration; and the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, a multilateral effort to coordinate space exploration activities among government space agencies.
The next thing Korea needs IMO is a real telescope. The largest telescope here is still a pitiful...okay, let's be nice and say modest -- 1.8 metres, and was established in 1966. Since this year (or was it last year?) the new design of the 10,000 won bill has featured this telescope and some other astronomical designs, a definite improvement over the previous design.


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