South Korea is preparing a domestic rocket development program as part of an ambitious drive to carve out a larger slice of the global space economy following the implosion of its partnership with Russia.
Seoul last month revoked a contract with Moscow in favor of a European operator to launch a satellite into space. Having relied on Russia for years to send its probes into orbit, the move is a tangible impact of sanctions on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine.
"Our plans to launch a multipurpose satellite with Russia have entirely gone awry,” South Korean Vice Science Minister Oh Tae-Seog said in an interview. "From the perspective of not only space industries but also national security, owning the ability to lift a satellite we want into space when we want is important.”