South Korea to Officially Begin Moon Landing Project Next Year, Aims for 2032 Lunar Arrival

SEOUL — The Ministry of Science and ICT announced on Monday that South Korea's plan to develop its own spacecraft for a moon landing has successfully passed a preliminary feasibility study and will officially commence next year.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the project has a budget of 530 billion won (US$392.9 million) and aims to develop a 1.8-ton spacecraft that will land on the moon in 2032. The project is part of South Korea's broader strategy to explore lunar resources and cultivate a "future space economy."

The ministry outlined the project timeline, stating that it intends to complete the spacecraft's development by 2028, carry out a soft landing test in 2031, and officially launch the mission to the moon in 2032. The spacecraft will be equipped with indigenous technology designed to detect and avoid obstacles on the lunar surface to ensure a successful landing.

Additionally, the spacecraft is slated to be launched aboard South Korea's homegrown next-generation space vehicle, according to the ministry.

The moon landing initiative is part of a wider space exploration strategy that was announced last year by President Yoon Suk Yeol. The strategy includes plans to not only land a spacecraft on the moon by 2032 but also aims for a Mars landing in 2045.

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