S. Korea to expand commercial space industry

A task force will be set up by the government to help develop the country's space industry and encourage more private sector entities to emerge and have successful businesses.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor on

The South Korean government will soon set up measures to commericalize its space technology while working to further develop its commercial space sector.

Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is leading the push as the industry comprises only 61 private companies and research institutes developing space technologies. Just under half, or 44.2 percent, have annual sales of less than 1 billion won (US$909,000), it noted.

"The country has so far developed its key space technologies and related industry through government-led space programs, but it has yet to witness any meaningful commercialization of space technologies due to its lack of a serious space industry," the ministry said.

To help develop a viable space industry, the government will set up a special task force which will come up with measures to commercialize the space industry before the end of September. The measures will include a transfer of government-processed technologies to private firms, as well as their involvement in the government initiative to send a space shuttle to the moon before 2019--two years ahead of its original schedule, it revealed.

By helping develop the space shuttle, it is hoped that more private sector entities will be created to take advantage of the opportunities, said the ministry. 

South Korea had successfully launched its first space rocket, the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, in January this year, becoming the 13th country in the world to launch a space rocket from earth, a separate report by Yonhap News Agency noted.

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 lifting off from South Korea's Naro Space Center on January 30, 2013. (Source: Yonhap News Agency)


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