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Global Insider: South Korea's Space Program

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

South Korea experienced its second space launch failure earlier this month when a rocket exploded shortly after lifting off. In an e-mail interview, Center for a New American Security Fellow Abe Denmark discusses developments and setbacks in South Korea's space program.

WPR: What is the current state of South Korea's space program?

Abe Denmark: To date, the ROK's satellite development program has been rather successful. Its National Space Program, most recently updated in 2005, calls for an ambitious program including the development of 13 satellites by 2010 and the ability to lift a 1.5 ton satellite into low-earth orbit (LEO) by 2015. South Korea's first indigenously produced satellite, KOMPSAT-1, was launched in 1999 aboard a Russian-produced rocket. Since then, Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) has launched several advanced communications, imaging, and weather satellites. ...

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