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South Korea establishes a new space agency KASA and sets its sights on the moon and Mars

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South Korea wants to expand its presence in space.

The nation focuses on landing Mars By 2045, the country’s president announced at the launch of its national space agency. President Yoon Suk Yeol inaugurated the Korea Aerospace Administration (KASA) on Thursday, May 30, Reuters reported. The agency will oversee space policy and try to encourage space-related businesses.

“KASA will usher in a new space era by cultivating experts while intensively supporting the aerospace industry ecosystem and promoting challenging and innovative R&D,” said Yoon.

Related: SpaceX launches South Korea’s first ever moon mission and lands rocket at sea

According to the report, the country will commit to spending 100 trillion won ($72.6 billion) on space until a planned landing mission to Mars in 2045. A number of countries are committed to becoming emerging space powers, with investments in space innovation and promise growth.

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South Korea is already active in space. It has a satellite called Danuriin orbit around the moon, providing images and data that could help NASA Artemis program. It has developed a completely proprietary launch vehicle called Nuriand the country is aiming for its first robotic landing on the moon by 2032.

The creation of KASA and the moon and Mars plans reflect a rise in Asian space ambitions. India (Chandrayaan 3), Japan (THIN) and most recently China, with Chang’e-6all successfully landed on the moon in the past year.

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