South Korea’s space agency officially launched to foster industry growth

Seoul: The Korea AeroSpace Administration (KASA) officially opened its doors on Monday to devise South Korea’s space policy and foster the growth of the country’s space industry.

KASA, the country’s full-fledged space agency, was established in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul. The agency’s 293-strong workforce will be filled in phases, reports Yonhap news agency.

“The establishment of KASA will be a milestone for South Korea becoming a powerhouse in the space economy by helping create a private-led space industry ecosystem,” Yoon Young-bin, KASA’s chief, said on his way to KASA headquarters on his first day in office, according to the agency.

Yoon has vowed to expand the role of the private space industry to strengthen the country’s competitiveness in the sector in the new space era, where private companies are actively leading innovation in space technologies with more economic feasibility.

KASA will be in charge of creating the national strategy in the space field, conducting research and development projects, fostering talent, developing the industry and promoting international cooperation, according to its officials.

It will also lead the nation’s space programs, such as landing a homegrown spacecraft on the moon in 2032 and Mars in 2045.

John Lee, a retired senior executive at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was appointed as KASA’s deputy administrator in charge of space missions and policies, and Rho Kyung-won, a senior official at the Ministry of Science and ICT, as its deputy chief.


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