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Seoul to support space launch vehicle technology transfers to private sector

South Korea's Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology announced on 7 September that it will support know-how transfers to private local companies to promote the development of the domestic space launch vehicle market.

During an online conference held the same day the ministry said it will launch the Korean Advanced Space Launch Vehicle project next year, pointing out that while the new launch vehicle will be designed by the state-funded Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), it will be manufactured by private local companies: unlike South Korea's first fully indigenous space launch vehicle, the Nuri, which was both designed and produced by KARI.

The KRW68.4 billion (USD58.7 million) project is expected to continue through to 2027, noted the ministry in a statement, adding that KARI plans to share its technological know-how with private companies to, among other things, ensure that this process will foster the necessary local capabilities to look after the entire life cycle of the project, including testing and launching.

The announcement comes after the country's Defense Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) disclosed on 19 August that it plans to invest KRW16 trillion over the next 10 years to accelerate the development of defence-related space technologies.

This project, which will also include KRW1.6 trillion for core technology research and development on military satellites, will also see know-how transferred to local companies to eventually lead to series production and meet the growing local and international demand for such satellites.

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