Minister of Science and ICT Lee Jong Ho on the afternoon of Jan. 11 announces the government's plan to launch the Korea Aerospace Administration at Government Complex-Seoul in the capital's Jongno-gu District. (Ministry of Science and ICT)

Minister of Science and ICT Lee Jong Ho on the afternoon of Jan. 11 announces the government’s plan to launch the Korea Aerospace Administration at Government Complex-Seoul in the capital’s Jongno-gu District. (Ministry of Science and ICT)

By Jung Joo-ri

The government has begun preparation to launch the Korea Aerospace Administration (KASA) as early as May.

Minister of Science and ICT Lee Jong Ho on Jan. 11 told a news briefing at Government Complex-Seoul, “We will pursue full-fledged follow-up measures to launch KASA since three related bills on Jan. 9 passed the plenary session of the National Assembly.”

The enactment of a law on KASA was a campaign pledge of President Yoon Suk Yeol to build a national control tower to lead space development.

After he released a space economy roadmap in November 2022, a related task force was formed to set up the space agency. On Jan. 9, a bill on a special act to establish and run KASA was passed by a parliamentary plenary session after its submission on April 6 last year.

The ministry will quickly prepare subordinate statutes to open KASA, transfer its organization, budget and research institutes, recruit specialized personnel and provide a headquarters building.

Joint international projects that the agency can begin right after its launch are also under consideration with the think tanks of global space powers like NASA of the U.S. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Other plans are development of economic cooperation projects with emerging economies that recently signed memorandums of understanding in aerospace with Korea like the United Arab Emirates.

Through KASA, the government aims to support over 2,000 innovative companies in aerospace to lead the economy and create 500,000 quality jobs. The scale of investment in the sector will be also greatly expanded under the goal of grabbing 10% of the global aerospace market worth KRW 420 trillion, thus the goal is to make Korea one of the world’s top five space powers by 2045.

Minister Lee said, “KASA’s establishment marks the start of a big step toward becoming a global space power by providing a new growth engine for the stagnant Korean economy through stimulation of the aerospace sector, as well as achieving the goals of a moon landing by 2032 and exploration of Mars by 2045, the centennial anniversary of national liberation.”