Print 35 comment(s) - last by wordsworm.. on Nov 22 at 9:42 AM

South Korea aims to join the Asian space race

South Korea announced ambitious plans to launch a lunar probe by 2020, joining an unofficial Asian space race that has seen Japan and China successfully launch lunar probes to the moon, said South Korean space officials.  The country also hopes to launch a second lunar probe in 2025, this time aiming to land on the moon.

The Ministry of Science and Technology also said South Korea wants to develop the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 (KSLV-II), a new rocket with the ability to carry a payload up to 300 tons into space.  A new research center and rocket launch pad should be completed next year in late 2008 or early 2009.

The first generation of KSLV, the KSLV-I, is slated to launch sometime in 2008.

South Korea has sent a dozen satellites into orbit, but had to rely on foreign rockets every time.

South Korea plans to invest almost $4 billion USD into space research over the next 10 years, hoping to be able to develop and launch its own rockets and satellites.  KARI also plans to pay Russia to ferry a Korean astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) next year.

The Japan and Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Selenological and Engineering Explorer (SELENE) lunar probe successfully captured high-definition videos of the Earth rising and of the lunar surface.  The Chinese Chang'e 1 space probe will begin to transmit its own findings back to Earth sometime next month.  The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) also has had recent success with its initial space plans.

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Getting crowded
By Misty Dingos on 11/21/2007 9:54:26 AM , Rating: 3
By the time we get back to the moon it will be a landscape of oriental subdivisions. We will probably get some place to build our research facility in the worst spot. Our astronauts will have to stand in line to see the original lunar landing sites. No this is not a crack at folks that call that part of Asia home. But I am still pissed that we have wasted near 40 years not going back to the moon.

RE: Getting crowded
By mdogs444 on 11/21/2007 9:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
LOL - and what exactly do we need to go back to the moon for? a flag football game?

RE: Getting crowded
By maven81 on 11/21/2007 10:22:37 AM , Rating: 3
Mining its resources for one thing. Like Helium III which has the potential to make fusion possible. Building a base of operations that could be a stepping stone for bigger, interplanetary missions. Conducting research, including the potential to build very powerful observatories on the dark side of the moon (shielded from the earth's electromagnetic interference).
It actually makes a lot more sense to be on the moon, then to keep a really expensive and very limited space station in orbit.

RE: Getting crowded
By Spivonious on 11/21/2007 11:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but if we mine it too much we'd disrupt the tides which would screw up pretty much the entire planet.

RE: Getting crowded
By rdeegvainl on 11/21/2007 11:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
aren't the tides causes by the gravitational pull of the moon? It would take alot of mining to have much of an effect on that. Unless you are messing with my head, my super senses aren't working properly.

RE: Getting crowded
By JediJeb on 11/21/2007 11:33:28 AM , Rating: 3
I wish everyone would quit referring to the far side of the Moon as the dark side of the Moon. Light hits the Moon on all sides just like it does on Earth, it's just that the days on the Moon are 28 Earth days long. The only places that are truly dark all the time are some deep craters at the poles.

RE: Getting crowded
By maven81 on 11/21/2007 11:39:18 AM , Rating: 2
I blame Pink Floyd heh. I did realize my mistake after I posted but there's no edit function.

RE: Getting crowded
By wordsworm on 11/22/2007 9:18:25 AM , Rating: 2
The reason it's called the dark side of the moon, I think, is because we never see it from earth. It's always the same face that we see in the sky.

RE: Getting crowded
By defter on 11/22/2007 5:42:41 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have any idea how expensive is mine, e.g. one tonne of minerals on the moon and bring them back to earth? Mining the moon will not be feasible for decades, if not centuries.

RE: Getting crowded
By wordsworm on 11/22/2007 9:42:31 AM , Rating: 2
Mining the moon will not be feasible for decades
I think it's quite feasible. There are several factors that aren't involved in shipping from the moon. #1) atmospheric friction #2) gravity is drastically reduced #3) If these folks are right about Helium 3 being a viable source of energy, then setting up some sort of propulsion should be fairly easy. I believe ion engines are slowly becoming less Star Wars and more reality. You can't use an ion engine to escape earth's gravity, but you can use it in space. I imagine with some kind of slingshot contraption and the ion engine it would be entirely possible to create a system that could be beneficial. According to this website: a tonne of H3 is worth 5.3 billion dollars. According to the site, 3 men from NA hold the rights to most of the mining on the moon. I'm willing to bet that Russia and China might not recognize that these 3 men have the ability to block them from exploiting these minerals. I have the feeling that this kind of international disagreement could very well lead to the inevitable WWIII. When trillions are at stake...

RE: Getting crowded
By Zoomer on 11/21/2007 10:06:28 AM , Rating: 2
It's a race to see whose rocket is bigger.

And besides, it's a good way to test ballistic missle technology without appearing to do so. :)

good to see
By kattanna on 11/21/2007 9:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
it is always good to see more and more of the world getting behind space technologies in bigger and bigger ways.

RE: good to see
By Master Kenobi on 11/21/2007 11:15:35 AM , Rating: 3
Indeed, on the plus side this will light a fire under the U.S. collective ass and get them back into Space, and beyond.

the great leader
By Gul Westfale on 11/21/2007 10:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
the great and beloved leader of north korea, kim jong il, will also launch a space vehicle just to show the southerners how it's done... but because the great leader does everything differently, he will send his spacecraft to the dark side of the moon...

RE: the great leader
By maven81 on 11/21/2007 11:01:18 AM , Rating: 3
You know, someone once told me a soviet era joke about this...

Meeting at the party headquarters...

Blast it! Those Americans have beat us to the moon, we must do something... to upstage them somehow... I know... we will send a few cosmonauts to the sun!

But chairman, they will burn up!

You don't think I've thought of this? We will send them at night!

i will kick...
By Screwballl on 11/21/2007 12:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
I will kick the amewican wittle bottoms all over with my wunar pwobe and defense system

By iewgnem on 11/21/2007 4:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think the 300 ton might be more like 30 ton, and even that's a big unrealistic for a first time rocket builder like South Korea. Just to give people some perspective, Saturn V only had 118 ton low earth orbit capability, around the same as the new cargo carrier Nasa is developing. Even considering 30 tons, the most powerful rockets in existence today are only up to 25 tons to LEO, which makes the 30 tons quite a long shot korea's first rocket.

Another crappy Korean car?
By mdogs444 on 11/21/07, Rating: -1
RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Brandon Hill on 11/21/2007 9:49:26 AM , Rating: 2
They don't even sell Daewoos here anymore and Hyundais are great vehicles nowadays.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By mdogs444 on 11/21/07, Rating: 0
RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Brandon Hill on 11/21/2007 10:02:38 AM , Rating: 3
Spoken like a person that has never been inside or driven a newer Hyundai or Kia.

But the Azera is different. Hyundai's new flagship has all the expected Hyundai virtues, yet it looks, feels and drives like a premium Japanese car. Its XG350 predecessor was faux luxury, but the Azera is the real thing. Peel off the funky "H" badges and you might mistake its spacious, upscale interior for that of a Toyota Avalon.

Inside, the Azera pours on the hospitality with surprising artistry. A crisp character line runs from the dash through to the door panels, encircling the driver and front passenger. It's an elegant ribbon of textured vinyl, really good faux wood and metallic piping. Just a subtle design cue, but along with the cabin's tight construction, it's enough to make this Hyundai feel like a full-on luxury sedan.

Although we weren't as impressed by the plastic used for the window buttons and control stalks, overall materials quality hits a high standard. The leather upholstery is soft and double-stitched. And it's almost impossible to distinguish between the soft vinyl and harder plastic surfaces on the dash, because everything is so smooth and low in gloss.

Interior accommodations are handsome and intelligently placed, even in the base GLS model. Brushed metallic surfaces look upscale and there are three different faux (and oddly convincing) wood grain trims throughout the range of trim levels. There are four different types of leather spread over SE and Limited trim levels, the nicest of which is only available in the Limited Ultimate.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By mdogs444 on 11/21/07, Rating: 0
RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Brandon Hill on 11/21/2007 10:12:19 AM , Rating: 4
No, I would never sit in, drive , or spend my money on a Hyundai or Kia. Both are junk, built like crap.

Well, then you have no room to talk. Being ignorant of a product/vehicle you are talking about/bashing/ridiculing without even sampling or reading up on it is quite telling I must say...

Move along, nothing to see here..

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By mdogs444 on 11/21/2007 10:14:18 AM , Rating: 1
LOL, i dont care if you like to buy POS cars, and just because I do not sit in them, does not take away the fact that they are still cheap pieces of junk.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By rdeegvainl on 11/21/2007 11:26:56 AM , Rating: 2
No, maybe not, but it severely takes away from the validity of your statement.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Cygni on 11/21/2007 11:39:41 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad you are awful at actually doing research. The fact that you list BMW on your list of praises and hate Hyundai shows that you have about as much car knowledge as the average buyer... aka zilch.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By glenn8 on 11/21/2007 10:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
Spoken like someone who knows very little, yet speaks like he knows a lot.

The Hyundai of today is nothing like what it was years ago. They are obviously not on the same level as Honda, Toyota, etc (yet). Especially not comparable to BMW (this is such a lame comparison). But it is a lot cheaper, and built well.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By maven81 on 11/21/2007 10:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
Actually it seems to me that what both of those companies do, is steal a lot of their designs from the Japanese Subaru, then market it better and sell it for less. For instance I'll be damned if the Kia "sportage" isn't a clone of the Subaru outback sport.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Spivonious on 11/21/2007 11:00:31 AM , Rating: 2
For Kia I'll agree (I had a rental Rio once which felt like I was driving a tin can) but Hyundais are actually pretty good cars these days. Of course, they're not as cheap any more either.

Do you have something personal against Koreans?

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By mdogs444 on 11/21/2007 11:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have something personal against Koreans?

LOL - no not at all. I just feel that almost all products that come from Korea are extremely low quality and cheaply made.

Although I am not a fan of North Korea - due to its weapons testing & nuclear wants, but thats another topic.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Cygni on 11/21/2007 11:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
Uhhhh... you do know that South and North Korea are separate countries and bitter rivals right? They are about as different as Israel and Egypt.

Also, Korea produces some of the highest quality products around. From their cars (Hyundai ranks consistently in the top 5 for quality with Honda and Toyota), to their electronics (Samsung and LG), there are LOTS of quality products coming from Korea these days.

But I guess this isnt about actual facts, anyway.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Screwballl on 11/21/2007 2:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
Kia, Hyundai and Daewoo = crap

All 3 are sold locally and all 3 are found on the side of the road on a regular basis regardless of its age but does include a decent number of models less then a few years old (this Florida heat and humidity kills them). I saw a brand new Hyundai drive off the lot (128 miles on it) and a mile down the road the engine blew which caused the rear engine mounts to drop part of the engine to the road showering sparks everywhere... I stopped to help (which is how I know this info) and drove him back to the dealership so he can get them to tow it and tear up the paperwork.
This was about 8 months ago. I saw the same guy about 3 months ago and he was happy as can be with a real american car (bought a Dodge Charger used with 23,000 miles).
Based on my everyday travels and seeing the number of cars on the side of the road, at least 80-90% of the dead vehicles are not of american origination (Ford, GM, Dodge). The most popular dead cars are the Kias and the Hyundais but also include Hondas and Toyotas. The top of the list of dead american vehicles seen is Ford (remember, 90% of all Fords are still on the road today, the other 10% made it home or to the repair shop).

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Cygni on 11/21/2007 4:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
This has to be a troll. Nobody is this stupid...

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By Ringold on 11/21/2007 8:13:29 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not getting in to the debate too deeply, except to say that Hyundai is the second most reliable car in America, second to Honda with Toyota falling to third (according to who ever ranks these things), that Consumer Reports own reliability research concurs, and that Consumers Union accepts no sponsorship, sells no ads, nothing in order to maintain neutrality.

Times, they are a changin'.

RE: Another crappy Korean car?
By West on 11/21/2007 11:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
People forget that back in the 1970's, Japanese cars were considered crap.
And in the 80's and 90's, American cars were considered crap, but they've shaped up since then.

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