A delegation from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), led by KARI President Kim, visited SSERVI at NASA Ames Research Center on August 2nd to discuss a potential lunar mission and KARI’s associate membership in the NASA Lunar Science Institute/SSERVI.

The delegation included Dr. Seung-jo Kim, KARI President; Dr. Gwang-hyeok Ju, Team Leader of Lunar Exploration Research Team, KARI; Mr. Jung-ho Park, International Relations, KARI; Dr. Dong-min Kim, Engineer, KARI; and Dr. Yung-gyo Lee, Engineer, KARI.

Dr. Seung-jo Kim graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985. He has been a Professor at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of Seoul National University since 1986. Since 2006, he has headed the Academic Advisory Committee on Aviation Technology at Korea Aerospace Industries. Dr. Kim was appointed to his current position as President of KARI in June 2011.

KARI was founded in 1989, and is NASA’s primary partner for space and aeronautics in South Korea. Based on civil space statements in summits with President Bush and Obama, NASA and MEST engaged in working group activities led by KARI to identify new cooperation opportunities in Earth and space science, exploration, space communications, and fundamental aeronautics research. NASA most recently held bilateral meetings with MEST and KARI in February 2012.

South Korea’s space capabilities are steadily improving. In 2008, KARI sent the first Korean into space, So-yeon Lee, on a Soyuz mission to the ISS. South Korea has developed several domestic satellites and scientific payloads, and in January 2013 KARI successfully launched the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV) with a Krunichev first stage and KARI second stage from KARI’s Naro Space Center in South Korea.

In 2012, KARI launched a KOMPSAT-3 remote sensing mission aboard Japan’s H2A launch vehicle. In 2010, KARI’s COMS satellite, a meteorology, ocean observation and communications satellite, was successfully launched on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. In September 2011, KARI completed a major reorganization and expanded its program to five institutes: Aerospace Systems, Aeronautical Innovative Technology, Satellite Technology, Launch Vehicle Technology, and Aerospace Technology.

Newly elected South Korean President Park made a campaign pledge for a robotic landing mission to the Moon by 2020 aboard a domestic KSLV-2. In March 2013, KARI indicated the President has generated strong national support for this concept. They stated interest in cooperating with NASA in this endeavor and a precursor lunar robotic orbiting mission in the 2017 timeframe. KARI is an active ISECG participant. President Park recently reorganized MEST and its civil space authority into the new Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. In June 2011, MEST proposed a “framework for cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Korea in the field of research and peaceful use of outer space,” and the State Department is leading the development of this agreement.

Highlights of Recent Cooperation:

• AERONET: NASA and Yonsei University signed an agreement in June 2011 to establish one or more sun photometer stations at mutually agreed sites. Another objective is to encourage scientists from both the U.S. and Korea to develop research programs using data collected in Korea along with aerosol data available from the global AERONET database.
• Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX): NASA and Yonsei University signed an agreement in 2008 to cooperate on GALEX, an effort to map the history of star formation for over 80% of the age of the Universe. GALEX came to a successful conclusion in February 2012.
• Heliophysics: NASA and KASI signed an agreement in July 2010 for cooperation in solar and space physics (heliophysics) and space weather research, including sharing the data of new NASA missions. KASI is building a data center and providing the necessary ground assets to acquire and process the space weather broadcast data from the Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) mission.
• Geodesy: NASA and KASI signed an agreement in December 2010 on collaboration in the field of the space geodesy, including the development of space geodetic techniques, data sharing from a local and global geodetic observing network, and application research, as well as natural hazards prediction/reduction.

• International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG): KARI actively participates in NASA’s exploration workshops and associated global exploration strategy activities.
Advanced Colloids Experiment (ACE): NASA and Chungnam National University signed an agreement in March 2012 to collaborate on ACE to observe the behavior of colloidal systems using a microscope in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS).

Space Operations:
• Sleep Study: NASA and KARI utilized Korea’s space flight participant who flew in April 2008 onboard Soyuz on a Sleep Study.

• Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE): NASA currently has an active GLOBE agreement with the Ministry of Education in Korea.
• ISEB: KARI is an active member in the International Space Education Board.

• General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT): In May, NASA and KARI signed an agreement for joint development of GMAT software, lunar mission concepts using the GMAT, and performance of collaborative astronautics and space navigation research using this tool.

Sample of Upcoming/Prospective Cooperation:

• GEO KOMPSAT: KARI will launch two KOMPSAT missions to GEO in the 2017-2018 timeframe. NASA has begun discussing Korean interests in collaboration.

Lunar Robotic: KARI has proposed collaboration on their developing plans for a 2020 lunar robotic orbiter and landing mission, as well as a ~2017 precursor orbiter mission.

About The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI):

KARI is overseen by the new Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP). Other key Korean organizations include the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), and the Ministry of the Environment (MoE).

KARI Facilities:
• Naro Space Center (launch site)
• Satellite Data Center (at KARI campus in Daejeon)
• Tracking Station on Jeju Island
• Transportation and Navigation Technology Center in Daejeon (GNSS, etc)
• Aerospace Certification and Safety Center

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff

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