Wednesday, April 09, 2008
First South Korean sent into space
Thousands of South Koreans have gathered across the country to celebrate the blast-off of the country's first astronaut into space. Yi So-Yeon took off on Tuesday from the same launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhastan where Yury Gagarin, the first man in space, began his famous flight in 1961.
A biosystem engineer, Yi will conduct 14 scientific experiments while in space and has said that she hopes her flight would help further Korean science and bring peace with North Korea. The launch made South Korea the 36th nation to send a person into orbit.
Lee Myung-Bak, the South Korean president said: "I have strong feelings today. Today will go down in history as the start date of our march towards space".
In an earlier TV interview, Lee said that South Korea is on track to become the world's seventh-largest space power in 2020, when the nation is to launch its own lunar orbiter.
NVDL: South Korea is a very impressive country. The people are the country's most vital asset, most precious resource. It's going to be amazing visiting the country again at the end of April after a 2 year absence.