The South Korean government has announced that three regions – South Jeolla Province, South Gyeongsang Province and Daejeon city – will be designated as clusters for the space industry, with a focus on the development of rockets, satellites, and research and talent. The decision was made during a National Space Committee meeting presided over by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, which was the first to take place since the Yoon administration took office in May. The Ministry of Science and ICT will conduct a feasibility assessment for an infrastructure project worth approximately $620 million to build space-related facilities in these clusters, which will be carried out from 2024 to 2031 if approved.
The government will also invest $1.24 billion through 2030 to develop a small satellite system and a ground system for quick observation of the Korean Peninsula and surrounding waters in emergency situations. Wednesday’s meeting was a follow-up to President Yoon’s announcement of his roadmap for a future space economy, which included the goals of landing on the moon and Mars by 2032 and 2045, respectively. The space committee also adopted the country’s fourth space development promotion basic plan, which includes a goal to double the government’s space investment to $1.36 billion in 2027 and increase the Korean private sector’s share of global space industry sales to 10% by 2045. The ministry stated that the country’s private sector accounted for only 1% of global space industry sales in 2020. The government plans to advance aerospace governance, including the establishment of the Korea Aerospace Administration, and to develop cutting-edge technologies such as a lunar lander and next-generation rockets in order to establish South Korea as a country with a strong space economy.