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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) The Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI), Korea's sole aircraft manufacturer, will develop a next-generation multipurpose satellite in line with the government's push to open private-led orbital space programs, the ICT ministry said Tuesday.
Officials from the Ministry of Science and ICT, KAI and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), held a meeting earlier in the day to decide the prime contractor in charge of the development of a 500-kilogram satellite.
The plan comes as the Seoul government earlier announced a long-term plan to help private companies launch orbital space programs in 2026 and send up small spacecraft by private companies starting in 2030.
The plan is aimed at promoting a private company-led development of rockets and spacecraft as the country lags behind other powerhouses, including the United States and Japan, in the sector.
In recent years, the global space program market has been spearheaded by private companies that are sending humans and spacecraft into space. The SpaceX project led by tycoon Elon Musk has already succeeded in launching a number of spacecraft.
Currently, the first next-generation satellite is under development by KARI, with the first unit to be put into orbit in 2019 and the second in the following year, the ministry said.
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Source: Yonhap News (Feb. 27, 2018)