A groundbreaking ceremony for the nation's first rocket launching site was held on Friday (Aug. 8), marking the start of the government's bid to become the world's 13th country with a space center.
The government-initiated construction project started on 4.95 million square meters of reclaimed land in Goheung County, South Jeolla Province.
President Roh Moo-hyun said in a taped congratulation message that the project will give South Korea the strategic technology it needs to step into the global aerospace industry. "The space center will actively contribute to the development of rockets and satellites," he said.
The ceremony was attended by some 700, including Prime Minister Goh Kun, Science and Technology Minister Park Ho-koon and South Jeolla Province Gov. Park Tae-young.
The project, scheduled to be completed by late 2005, is estimated to cost 150 billion won ($126.45 million).
Operated by the state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute, the Goheung space center will be equipped with various high-tech facilities including a rocket launch site, a control tower, a rocket assembly line, rocket testing equipment and a space simulator.
As its first goal, the center seeks to launch a domestic satellite-bearing rocket, named KSLV-1, along with a locally produced, 100-kilogram satellite.
The government proposed the aerospace development project in 1996, intending to secure a test site for the development of rocket engines. Two years later, it changed the original plan into a much bigger project for satellite launches by 2005.
Source: Korean Information Service
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North Korea Fires Missile Into
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Seoul (AFP) Feb 25, 2003
North Korea has fired a missile into the Sea of Japan, triggering renewed tension Tuesday as South Korea prepared to swear-in a new president who has pledged to seek a peaceful resolution to Pyongayng's nuclear weapons drive.
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