Korean Astronaut Program

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Korean Astronaut Program
Hangul 한국우주인배출사업
Hanja 韓國宇宙人輩出事業
Revised Romanization Hanguk ujuin baechul saeop
McCune–Reischauer Hankuk uchuin paech'ul saŏp

The Korean Astronaut Program was an initiative by the South Korean government to send the first Korean into space via the Russian space program.

Program overview[edit]

Yi So-yeon with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson (right), Expedition 16 commander, and Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (middle), flight engineer, at the International Space Station in April 2008.

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.[1]

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.[4] 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.[5]

On April 8, 2008 Yi So-yeon took off from the Baikonur [7] space center in Kazakhstan at 11:16 GMT aboard Soyuz TMA-12. She spent ten days conducting scientific experiments aboard the International Space Station.[6]

It cost South Korea approximately 26 billion won (28 million USD) to pay for the training and spaceflight.[citation needed]

Other finalists[edit]

The eight other finalists were:


External links[edit]