27.8 billion private enterprise support for 6 years
Responding to paradigm shift in the space market Just as the United States fostered SpaceX as a space company, Korea is also conducting a business to foster private space companies. The government will invest a total of 27.8 billion won for six years starting this year, and a private company will develop the upper rocket engine of the space launch vehicle. If this project is successful, private companies are expected to have a launch vehicle that can directly launch a 500kg-class medium-sized satellite into low orbit at an altitude of 500km.
The Ministry of Science and ICT announced on the 16th that it would start a small projectile development capability support project to foster the small projectile industry led by the private sector.
Kwon Hyun-joon, director of the Ministry of Science and ICTs mega public research policy officer, said, “It is essential to develop an economical small launch vehicle for the smooth execution of the 170 public satellite launches scheduled by 2030.” To respond to the space market paradigm,” he said.
The Ministry of Science and ICT explained that a total of 27.8 billion won will be invested in this project for six years from this year to 2027, and private companies will take the lead from planning to designing the upper engine. Through this project, a two-stage small launch vehicle will be made with a privately developed upper engine and a 75-ton engine of the Nuri-ho as one stage.
First, in April, three domestic space companies and an industry-academia-research consortium are selected to develop engines for the top of small launch vehicles in a competitive R&D method.
The type of fuel and engine structure are all supervised and selected by the participating companies. In addition, if necessary, the design of the Nuriho 75t engine, the first stage rocket, can be partially improved, or the engine technology developed and owned can be used for the first stage.
Afterwards, one final company is selected through two stage evaluations in 2024 and 2026, and the performance of the designed & manufactured engine is tested. At each stage, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute will provide technical advice to participating companies.