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KAIST to join Deep Space Exploration Project
KAIST agreed to launch the Deep Space Exploration Research Consortium with two key leading aerospace research institutes, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) during a recent meeting at the KAIST campus. President Kwang Hyung Lee, KARI President Sang-Yool Lee, KASI President Young-Deuk Park, and Vice Minister of Science and ICT Hong-taek Yong attended the meeting to discuss medium- and long-term deep space exploration plans and collaborations. The three entities have cooperated in scientific research for the last 30 years during which Korea has been developing its space exploration expertise. They signed the MoU for Cooperation for R&D and Industrialization on Deep Space Exploration’ last December. The research consortium will share and discuss research plans for space science research and exploration technology, and contribute to planning the nation’s deep space exploration. At the meeting, KAIST reported its plans to return KITSAT-1 to Earth, Korea’s first satellite using local technology, and to explore the radiation belt (the Van Allen belt) around Earth. KAIST launched Korea’s first satellite KITSAT-1 in 1992. Meanwhile, KARI shared their plans to launch a lunar landing module using a Korean Space Launch Vehicle by 2030 and explained the current technologies and research related to a lunar landing and space exploration. Based on the payload technology it has been building on for the last 20 years, KASI emphasized the importance of research for deep space exploration in relation to the formation of the universe and the origin of mankind. Vice Minister of Science and Technology Yong also stressed that “to enhance Korea’s capabilities for space research after launching our space launch vehicle, Nuri, in October, there must be continued efforts and preparation for higher level space research, including space exploration planning. The various experts’ opinions discussed in today’s meeting will be taken into consideration for governmental policies related to the ‘National Space Exploration Roadmap’ to be established in the latter half of this year.”
KAIST Elected to Universities Space Research Association Membership
KAIST joined the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) on May 4, and brought the Association to a total of 113 member universities. The expertise KAIST brings will broaden the Association’s collective strength in space-related science, technology, and engineering worldwide. Professor Hyosang Yoon from the Department of Aerospace Engineering will serve as the representative of KAIST to USRA. KAIST was selected by USRA’s current university members, in recognition of its significant commitment in, and contributions to, the fields of space and aerospace research. Especially, KAIST have developed Korea's first satellite, KITSAT-1 in 1992, which paved the way for space research in Korea and helped the nation strengthen technological competitiveness in that field. USRA was established in 1969 under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the United States. It is a non-profit corporation chartered to advance space-related science, technology, and engineering. USRA operates scientific institutes and facilities, and conducts other major research and educational programs, using federal funding. USRA also engages the university community and employs in-house scientific leadership, innovative research and development, and project management expertise. USRA’s President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey A. Isaacson said in his announcement, “We are delighted to welcome these two renowned universities as members. We look forward to their active engagement with, and contributions to, our Association.” President Isaacson visited KAIST on December 10 last year to discuss possible collaborations between two organizations. (END)
SaTReC, Birthplace of Korea’s First Satellite, Celebrates 30th Anniversary
< SaTReC researchers who developed Korea's first satellite, KITSAT-1 > The Satellite Technology Research Center (SaTReC) at KAIST, which launched the Korea’s first satellite KITSAT-1, celebrated 30 years in operation last week. A ceremony in honor of this milestone was held on campus on October 30. With the launching of KITSAT-1 in 1992, SaTReC paved the way for space research in Korea, and helped the nation achieve technological independence and strengthen competitiveness in the field. The ceremony was attended by over 100 affiliates from academia and industry, including the family of the late Dr. Soon-dal Choi, the first director of SaTReC also known as the father of the first Korean satellite KITSAT-1 (nicknamed “Our Star” in Korean). His family members traveled all the way from the US to Korea for the event. A plaque of appreciation was posthumously awarded to the family of former Director Choi in memory of his pioneering Korean satellite research. Right after the establishment of SaTReC in 1989, Dr.Choi dispatched five KAIST students to the University of Surrey in the UK to develop the Korea’s first satellite KITSAT-1 under a bilateral agreement for a joint research program. KITSAT-1, completed in collaboration with Surrey researchers, was successfully launched from the Guiana Space Center in August 1992. Through this launch, Korea became the 22nd nation to own a satellite, and launched the domestically produced follow-up satellite KITSAT-2 in September 1993. Since then, SaTReC has developed a total of nine satellites, including three in the KITSAT series in the 1990s as well as five STSATs and one Next-Generation Small Satellite in the 2000s. These satellites are still in operation today, thanks to SaTReC’s constant maintenance. SaTReC is still contributing to the verification of core space technologies and Earth and space observation technologies using small satellites. It is also training specialized personnel in national space research and development. Most significantly, STSAT-2C, also commonly known as the Naro Science Satellite, was launched on January 30, 2013 and served an important role in allowing the first Korean launch vehicle Naro-1 (KSLV-1) to enter into orbit. SaTReC researchers are now working on developing a Next-Generation Small Satellite named NEXTSat-2 that boasts a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system developed with domestic technology. NEXTSat-2 will be launched in 2022 from Korean soil, carried by a Korean launch vehicle developed with local technology. Director of SaTReC Sejin Kwon said, “We will follow the noble spirit of the late Dr. Soon-dal Choi, who dedicated his entire life to the nation’s satellite research and bolstered our commitment to the development of Korea’s future space technology.” He added, “We will pursue our dreams of space exploration with a sense of social responsibility to pay back to society the benefits reaped from space technology.” The ceremony was followed by a Future Space Technology Workshop, where eight KAIST professors participated as speakers. < Timeline of Korea's Satellite Research and Development > (END)
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