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Space Technology in Korea
Written by Daeseung Kim | Published. 2018.01.18 16:41 | Count : 515
Many countries around the world have made a head-start in developing space technologies. However, Korea is lagging behind in preparing itself for the upcoming futuristic era. Therefore, some people say Korea should invest money in space technologies now, and others say that it can wait.

There are plenty of people who disagree with Korea investing more money in developing space technology. Some say that it is far more important for Korea to invest in its nuclear power stations to avoid tragedies like the Chernobyl disaster. Furthermore, they say that Korea should invest more in encouraging youth business culture, because Korea is suffering from a high level of youth unemployment. For example, my friend, Sungjun Hong, said “Korea should think more about its current situation, and thus increase welfare policy instead of investing more in space technology. It’s important to invest in the future, but also, investment in the status-quo is equally important”. Like he said, if the government invests too much in space development, it will not have enough budget to be allocated elsewhere.

Also, space development could be dangerous. In 1986, a spaceship named Challenger exploded killing all seven crew members and in 2003 another named Columbia exploded which killed all seven crew members. Furthermore, in Russia, a dog named Laika was sent to space. The reason for sending animals, instead of people, was because, the researchers knew that the risks were too high. Hence, these tragedies illustrate the dark sides of space development.
[A photo of Kangwondo Space Museum in 2010, taken by Daeseung Kim ]
On the other hand, my school science teacher said that “space development is important for Korea’s future, and our descendants. If people should pay more taxes, it is needed for future” As he correctly pointed out, if Korea invests more in space technology, it will make space travelling become easier. When 1969, Apollo 11 was sent to the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stayed on the moon for 21 hours and 30 minutes. Since then, space technology improved dramatically with multiple countries succeeding in their attempt to launch manned spaceship. Thus, if Korea invests more in space technologies, it will have many opportunities to cooperate with other countries. For instance, when Korea launched the Naro 1st, its projectile was borrowed from India and it already has plans to launch another Naro series this year in 2018. If successful, it will make space travelling much more promising.
Also, investing more in space development will advance our understanding about space. Countries that were successful in launching and manufacturing spaceship formed the Elite Club of Space-faring Nations. Originally, it only included the USSR and America. But now, it includes 8 other member countries such as France and Japan. Thus, there is a need for Korea to catch up with other countries to prepare for the era of space technology. Unfortunately, Korea had to borrow technology from Russia when building Naro 3rd, which suggests that if Korea does not start investing more on this sector, it will be in adequately prepared for the era of space technology in the near future. Thus, Korea must invest more money in space research in order to stand neck and neck with the current members of the Elite Club of Space-faring Nations.
Although it is true that there are huge opportunities cost involved in developing space technology, it is essential that Korea must not overlook the long-term importance of conducting space research. This is because, developing space technology will open a new window of opportunity for space travelling in the distant future. Korea should make its judgment, in the light of both pros and cons, in order to do what is best for its future.


Daeseung Kim, 
Grade 6
Ewha elementary school

Daeseung Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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