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South Korean President Moon Says His Country Will Land on the... Moon

To date, there has been only one space race in the truest sense of the word. It took place decades ago when the U.S. and the Soviet Union apparently came to the same, possibly planet-saving conclusion: it’s better to blow off steam by shooting rockets into space than ICBMs at each other.
South Korea gunning for the Moon 1 photo
That whole crazy race didn’t last that long though, and after some intense missions to orbit and even to the Moon, things settled to somewhat routine exploits with the International Space Station at their core. About a decade ago, though, things changed as private companies entered the game, and Earth presently has more plans to colonize the solar system than ever before.

Inspired by the dedication private companies have for space exploration, governments seem to feel the rush too, and there are now more nations running space programs than there have ever been. South Korea is one of the latecomers to the party, but it plans to catch up fast.

In February, the country’s Ministry of Science announced a half a billion dollar budget for increasing the country’s capacity to make satellites, rockets and whatever. But that’s the boring stuff. The exciting news came from the country’s president a few days ago.

Moon Jae-in is his name, and he pledged to get South Korea to the celestial body by the end of the decade. The mission should be an uncrewed one and use a home-made launcher and lander system.

“By 2030, we will achieve our dream of landing on the moon by using our own launch vehicle,” the politician said according to Space News at the Naro Space Center in Goheung on March 25.

"The technological prowess, experience and confidence that will be gained from exploring the moon, the first step in space exploration, will provide a solid foundation for space development.”

Most importantly, he hinted at the possibility of the nation developing a spacecraft that should greet asteroid Apophis when it will make a scary-close run by Earth in 2029.

 
 
 
 
 

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