Korean Astronaut Program
|Korean Astronaut Program|
|Revised Romanization||Hanguk ujuin baechul saeop|
|McCune–Reischauer||Hankuk uchuin paech'ul saŏp|
On December 25, 2006, two candidates, one woman and one man, were selected by South Korea during a ceremony held at SBS television center in Dungchon-dong, Seoul. This choice was the result of a comprehensive selection process which started with the screening of 36,000 applications.
- Ko San (36, male, unmarried, researcher at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology)
- Yi So-yeon (34, female, unmarried, researcher at the KAIST)
This winning pair was sent to Russia early 2007 to undergo a 15-month training course at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center near Moscow.
On September 5, 2007, Ko San was named as the prime candidate, whilst Yi So-yeon served as his backup. However, on March 10, 2008 it was announced that the prime candidate was changed to Yi So-yeon due to several violations of training protocol by Ko San. Ko San served as backup.
On April 8, 2008 Yi So-yeon took off from the Baikonur  space center in Kazakhstan at 11:16 GMT aboard Soyuz TMA-12. She spent ten days conducting scientific experiments aboard the International Space Station.
It cost South Korea approximately 26 billion won (28 million USD) to pay for the training and spaceflight.
The eight other finalists were:
- Park Ji-young (23, female, master's course student at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) 
- Yun Seok-oh (29, male, unmarried, official at Hanyang University) 
- Lee Jin-young (36, male, married, squadron leader at Republic of Korea Air Force) 
- Jang Joon-sung (25, male, unmarried, lieutenant at Bucheon Nambu Police Station) 
- Ryu Jeong-won (33, male, married, chief technology officer at IT Magic Co.) 
- Lee Han-gyu (33, male, unmarried, researcher at Samsung SDI) 
- Choi Ah-jeong (24, female, unmarried, master's course student at Seoul National University) 
- Kim Young-min (33, male, married, researcher at Korea Basic Science Institute)