Between 1959 and 1976, there were about
60 lunar missions launched by the US and the former Soviet Union.
After Luna 24 in 1976, there have been only 7 missions flown
so far. In 2004, the US announced the “Vision for Space Exploration”
(VSE), which calls for space programs to the Moon and Mars.
This seems to have initiated world-wide interests in lunar missions,
and the EU, Japan, China and India have recently engaged in
lunar missions. In 2008, space agencies of nine countries including
Korea agreed on the state of intent for the International Lunar
Network (ILN). It is thus the right time to plan scientific
projects to be performed by future lunar missions.
Korean government recently established a plan for space exploration
program aimed at securing fundamental space technology in space
missions to the near-Earth bodies such as the Moon and Mars.
As one of the main subjects in this governmental plan, the School
of Space Research at Kyung Hee University (SSR/KHU) proposes
to carry out the scientific studies near the lunar orbit in
space, which is accepted as WCU Type 1 project (PI: Prof. Dong-Hun
The SSR has research goals on three objectives:
||I. Development of payloads onboard
the satellites in collaboration with oversea institutions;
II. Investigations of effects of solar activities on interplanetary
space surrounding the Moon;
III. Space plasma interactions among the solar wind, the
Earth's magnetosphere, and the Moon.
Space exploration encompasses diverse scientific areas such
as planetary astronomy, magnetospheric physics, celestial mechanics,
rocket engineering, robotics, and life maintenance technology.
By developing payloads and performing relevant practical research,
both grown-up scientists and students will have a chance of
looking into others’ fields and learning from them. This process
will develop a more comprehensive view of the entire mission
in individual participants.
The WCU project for SSR calls for international collaboration
with researchers of world-leading laboratories, not merely because
we lag behind in space technology, but because we wish to share
their insights on promising future scientific tasks and their
experiences in planning and performing space missions.
A number of world-wide leading oversea scientists are invited
as regular faculty Members in SSR/KHU and perform collaborative
research with Korean faculty members, postdocs and students:
Prof. Robert P. Lin, a professor in the Physics dept and the
director of the Space Science Laboratory at UC Berkeley, has
been a key person in numerous space missions in the past 40
Prof. S. K. Solanki is the executive director of the Max Planck
Institute for Solar System Research and PI of the SUNRISE project
and other space mission instruments.
Prof. D. Summers is a specialist in wave-particle interactions
in space plasmas and pioneered a theory in high energy electron
generation in the magnetosphere.
Prof. Peter H. Yoon is a specialist in the microscopic phenomena
in space plasma Studies, in particular, in the Earth’s magnetosphere.
They will teach and advise students and get them involved in
the proposed study so that they may acquire relevant knowledge
and techniques. Korean students will also have opportunities
in co-working with expertise at the oversea institutions through
the arrangement of visiting schedules planned by our foreign
While anticipating a new space era, no Korean educational institutions
are truly prepared for producing the manpower that the upcoming
space missions demand. Our WCU project calls for active participation
of students. The SSR/KHU will naturally bring up the man power
that will lead the Korean space exploration into its blooming
era, late 2010's and 2020's.