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“Think of the universe even when you go home” President 尹…Chief of the space department, direct drive

The third launch of the Korean launch vehicle Nuri is imminent. This launch is the first actual operation to carry a practical satellite that will operate in space, and the first stage in which Nuriho technology is transferred to a private company. In other words, the space industry led by the private sector beyond government initiative, the ‘new space era’ has arrived. After the 3rd launch of the Nuri, Korea’s space development direction, related industries, and tasks to realize the space economy will be reviewed.

President Yoon Seok-yeol announces the future space economy roadmap at the future space economy roadmap proclamation ceremony held at the JW Marriott Hotel Seoul in Seocho-gu, Seoul on November 28 last year. (Presidential Office Correspondents of Photography) / Photo = Newsis
“When I come home and sit down, I think a lot about the space industry. I am anxious to see if the Ministry of Science and Technology is doing well with the establishment of the Korea Aerospace Aviation Administration, and whether the chiefs and secretaries in Yongsan are taking a good look at and supporting the affairs of the Ministry of Science and Technology.”

This is what President Seok-Yeol Yoon said at an event held at the Presidential Office in Yongsan, Seoul last February, at an event called ‘New Space Era of Dreams and Challenges, Conversation with Space Economy Pioneers’, meeting with about 40 people who are leading Korea’s space economy. This means that the president is contemplating the space economy, whether asleep or awake.

Staff members of the Yongsan Presidential Office and officials from the Ministry of Science and ICT unanimously say that President Yoon is serious about the universe. A high-ranking official in the presidential office said, “He has a lot of interest in space in the first place.” At the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, President Yoon was a third grader in elementary school.

He said that President Yoon, a former member of the legal profession who served as the prosecutor general, liked mathematics from a young age and was also interested in science. However, President Yoon is not focusing on the space economy out of personal interest. President Yoon sees that the space economy, like quantum technology and artificial intelligence ( AI ), is a ‘game changer’ that will change Korea, and that it is directly related to security in a global technological hegemony war.

President Yoon pledged to establish the Korea Aerospace Administration from the time he was a candidate, and later changed the name and included the establishment of the Korea Aerospace Administration as one of the 110 national tasks of the government. The plan is to establish a separate government agency to establish aerospace policies and lead R&D and technology acquisition.

President Yoon Seok-yeol visits the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington, DC on the 25th of last month (local time) while on a state visit to the United States and gives a speech. On the right is US Vice President Kamala Harris. 2023.04.26. /Photo = Newsis
Even after taking office, President Yoon digested various schedules related to space for the past year or so. In June of last year, he watched the successful launch of the Korean launch vehicle Nuri in real time at the Yongsan Presidential Office and encouraged him by saying, “The road from our land to space has opened.” In July of the same year, President Yoon visited the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (Hang Woo-yeon) and declared that he would open the space economy era. He even sent a coffee and cookie food truck for the researchers.

He took care of the space economy directly during his overseas tours. On the occasion of a state visit to the United States last month, President Yun visited the Goddard Space Flight Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA ) with the guidance of Vice President Kamala Harris, chairman of the US Space Commission . Referring to the signing of the joint statement between the Ministry of Science and Technology and NASA, President Yoon said, “I hope that the space alliance will be at the center of the 70th anniversary of the new ROK-US alliance.”

Last January, he also discussed space cooperation during a state visit to the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The UAE expressed its appreciation to President Yoon at the ‘Future Vision Dubai Forum’, saying, ” The UAE was able to raise the level of space technology by cooperating with the Korean government and companies from the early stage of space development.”

President Yoon’s space economy plan is concentrated in the ‘Future Space Economy Roadmap’ announced in November last year. At the roadmap proclamation ceremony, President Yoon said, “In 2045, the 100th anniversary of liberation, we will put the Korean flag on Mars.” We will start mining,” he said.

President Yoon Seok-yeol listens to a briefing at the general control room of the satellite operation building after the space economy vision proclamation ceremony held at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in Yuseong-gu, Daejeon on the afternoon of July 6 last year. Presidential Photo Reporters / Photo = News 1
In particular, President Yoon decided to directly assume the chairperson of the National Space Commission. According to the Space Development Promotion Act, the Prime Minister is the chairperson, but the president will directly take the drive by raising it. Regarding the newly established Space Aviation Administration, he said, “It will be composed of experts and projects.” It is a policy to attract excellent talent by applying a performance system that is different from the existing civil servant salary. The blind recruitment system of research institutes implemented by the Moon Jae-in administration was also abolished to prevent a decrease in the competitiveness of researchers.

As President Yoon directly drives the space, the Ministry of Science and Technology is also gaining strength. Expectations for related budget expansion are also read. An official from the Ministry of Science and Technology said안전놀이터, “I have been working on space for a long time, and the policy conditions have improved greatly as the head of the administration has directly empowered me.” Another official said, “Korea has entered the top 7 space powers, but it has a long way to go compared to the United States and Russia.”

A senior official in the presidential office said, “The space economy not only has excellent forward and backward effects, but also is the source of science and technology that increases jobs and improves the quality of life for future generations of young people.” It is seen that there is, and that sense of urgency is revealed through interest in science and technology, including space.”

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