The South Korean government postponed the launch of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV) from December 2019 to February 2021 and postponed the landing of its lunar module to 2030. Still, it is going to launch a test vehicle in October this year and launch a lunar orbiter in 2020 by using a foreign carrier rocket as scheduled. It is also going to allow private space development in 2026 as previously planned on condition that the KSLV project turns out to be successful.
The government is planning to concentrate for now on a three-stage KSLV that is capable of putting a 1.5-ton multi-purpose satellite into a low Earth orbit of 600 km to 800 km. The test vehicle will be launched in October this year to this end and re-launched in October next year if the project fails. The first and second final launching, however, has been postponed by 14 months and 16 months to February 2021 and October 2021, respectively. The schedules will be postponed again by four months each if the project scheduled for this year fails. The expiration of the project has been postponed by one year to March 2022, too.
The government is also planning to conduct technology transfer after the completion of the KSLV so that a small vehicle capable of launching a satellite weighing 500 kg or less can be launched by the private sector between 2025 and 2030 and a large vehicle for a geostationary orbit satellite weighing about three tons can be launched by the private sector between 2030 and 2040. If the landing of the lunar module succeeds in 2030, a return from an asteroid will become the next project. Private-sector led launch services will be initiated in 2026 and the private sector will be fully in charge of every non-large satellite launch starting from 2030.
The government also decided to establish the Korea Positioning System (KPS) covering the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity so visual and location data can be stably obtained. The KPS is scheduled to be open to the public in 2035. In this regard, test site construction, carrier technology development and frequency preparation will be conducted starting from 2020 and a satellite-based augmentation system will be set up by 2022 for location data services with an error range of less than 1 m.