Space Travel, How Far Have We Come?
Space Travel, How Far Have We Come?
  • Park Ji-su (ST Reporter)
  • 승인 2022.06.12 15:42
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Over the past few years, the global space sector has changed, and developed faster than ever in human history. This trend is expected to continue in 2022. This trend is expected to continue in 2022. Let's find out what projects will be carried out in space companies around the world, including Korea. ..... Ed

     2022 is the year when competition for the space development industry will appear more fiercely than before. In 2021, there was a major development in the space industry in human history. Several companies have started investing in space development and have achieved results. Private large enterprises are now at the center of development, rather than the government. As the huge cost of space development decreases, private companies have been actively taking advantage of this opportunity. Therefore, investment and project progress in space development fields is expected to become more active. There are special areas where many challenges have been detected. One of these is human space travel.

     Space travel is literally traveling in space on a spaceship. Going to a mission at the national level, however, is difficult to see as space travel. The purpose should be travel. The types range from the most practical stratospheric travel to semi- orbit travel and orbit travel. Moreover, although travels to the moon and Mars have never been implemented, they are travel prospects that many large enterprises are exploring.

Corporate Effort – Blue Origin / Space X
     Blue Origin is a private space company from the United States. Its travel style is a semi-orbit space trip that takes only about 10 minutes. Last July, Jeff Bezos, who founded Blue Origin, succeeded in his first space trip on a New Shepard rocket. Subsequently, last December, six civilian passengers traveled, ending the third manned space flight safely. 
     Blue Origin aims to improve its space tourism business this year. In the meantime, it has been said that its flights so far are closer to zero gravity experiences than conventional travel. Blue Origin is planning to develop a rocket with a strong momentum to improve the quality of space travel. This will be done based on the sales profit of boarding tickets. 
     Space X is a private space company founded by Elon Musk. Space X achieved civilian space tourism for the first time in human history. Last September, a rocket named Falcon 9, carrying the spaceship Crew Dragon, was launched into space under a project called Inspiration 4. All four aboard were regular citizens with jobs that have no relation to space flight and research. Furthermore, it has great significance for reaching the highest altitude of 580 kms in the sky. 
     In 2022, the Starship recycling rocket, which is being developed as a Mars exploration spacecraft, will also be launched. The point of this project is to determine whether or not the projectile can enter the orbit. Several test flights are also expected to be attempted. Expectations are high that Starship will be used as a next generation, reused spaceship to transport humans and freights.

National Effort - The World and Korea
     On the national side, they are striving more to explore space development rather than civilian space travel. In 2022, moon exploration projects will be actively carried out around the world. Countries will participate in development by promoting their own moon exploration. This is because science and related technology can be developed through moon exploration and, above all, it can heavily benefit in terms of economic and international political relations. The country can secure national credibility in space development technology and obtain opportunities for cooperation with domestic and foreign institutions and companies.
     Korea has made no significant progress in space development, especially moon exploration. This is because the Korean industrial structure is focused on the government rather than civilian companies, and there is no result without a budget. The moon exploration challenge scheduled this year is also behind other competitors in the same field. Korea is currently participating in the Artemis program in the United States. It is a manned moon exploration program that sends people to the moon by 2025. Moreover, in August this year, Korea will launch its first Korean lunar orbiter (KPLO). It is for the Korean moon lander project planned for 2030. Likewise, this year‘s R&D budget increased by 39.1% to 640 billion won. The government announced that they will begin to invest in new project fields, starting with the expansion of the R&D budget. Above all, for the advanced Korean space industry, a commercialized market should be formed where companies can actively participate.

     It is very interesting to travel to an unknown place that we have never been to. Space is very special and exceptional. Right now, space travel is only for the few who can afford to shoulder huge costs. Furthermore, since we haven‘t fully understood and developed space travel, we don‘t know what risks we‘ll face. Recently, a new disease named ‘fluid shift’ has been identified and occurs during one’s stay in space. Space travel may remain just a record  of what a few have experienced. Therefore, the popularization of space travel depends on the future direction and flow of the space industries. There will be a day when all mankind can go to space, a prospect so far, yet so close. 


Park Ji-su (ST Reporter)


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