South Korea seeks $32.9 million to launch satellites grounded by Russia sanctions

South Korea’s science ministry plans to put aside 47.2 billion received ($32.9 million) in subsequent yr’s funds to launch two satellites which have been left grounded due to Western sanctions on Russia over the struggle in Ukraine.

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s science ministry plans to put aside 47.2 billion received ($32.9 million) in subsequent yr’s funds to launch two satellites which have been left grounded due to Western sanctions on Russia over the struggle in Ukraine. As soon as the requested funds is endorsed by congress, the ministry will nix the prevailing launch contracts with Russia and make a “bundle deal” with a launch firm in america or Europe for the 2 satellites: CAS500-2 distant sensing satellite tv for pc and KOMPSAT-6 multipurpose satellite tv for pc. 

Rep. Park Wan-joo revealed this Sept. 28 based mostly on data he had secured from the ministry that manages South Korea’s house packages. In line with the lawmaker, the ministry seeks 37.4 billion received ($26.1 million) for KOMPSAT-6 and 9.82 billion received ($6.86 million) for CAS500-2.

“Into account are launch firms within the U.S. and EU,” the ministry stated in a doc despatched to the lawmaker, “As soon as the requested funds is endorsed by the congress, we are going to revoke the prevailing contracts with Russia, after which signal a brand new contract with a launch service supplier in a way that we’ve got finished to this point.”

Whereas the ministry didn’t specify launch firms it needs to speak with, reports point out that the ministry would select one between SpaceX and Arianespace. The ministry’s spokesman refused to touch upon the problem. In August, Kwon Hyun-joon, a senior science ministry officer, instructed SpaceNews that the 2 satellites’ launch can be carried out by a single firm beneath a “bundle deal” with the Korean authorities.

The CAS500-2 spacecraft, constructed primarily by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), was presupposed to launch within the first half of this yr on a Russian Soyuz rocket from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan beneath a 2017 contract with GK Launch Services. The KOMPSAT-6 satellite tv for pc, co-developed by KAI, LIG Nex1 and Airbus Defence and Space, was because of fly within the second half of the yr on a Russian Angara rocket from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. But, the plan went awry with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

On prime of this, the doc reveals the ministry has discovered it “virtually unimaginable” to get again from Russia the 47.2 billion received ($32.9 million) it already paid for the launch of three satellites this yr, together with CAS500-2 and KOMPSAT-6. The remaining one is a set of nanosatellites called SNIPE. The ministry paid 28.7 billion received ($20 million) for KOMPSAT-6, 17.4 billion received ($12.15 million) for CAS500-2, and 1.1 billion received ($760,000) for SNIPE. The ministry stated the prevailing contracts with Russia include a clause permitting the contracts to be revoked with out or restricted reimbursement when a “power majeure” happens, although it didn’t give additional particulars. The ministry sees the continued struggle as one thing that would go away Russia totally immune from reimbursement. The ministry plans to nix the contracts for CAS500-2 and KOMPSAT-6 no matter the potential of requesting any reimbursement, whereas retaining the contract for SNIPE in place, hoping it will allow one other Korean satellite tv for pc to launch on a Russian rocket sooner or later.

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