South Korea will expand its space program from state-led development of liquid engine rockets to developing solid fuel space rockets spearheaded by the private sector.

The Ministry of Science and ICT will support companies developing small-sized space launch vehicles based on solid propellants by 2024.

The US lifted restrictions on solid fuel space rocket development by South Korea in July last year and scrapped the guidelines last month.

The termination of the guidelines removed remaining restrictions, such as using maritime platforms in launching projectiles.

Science Minister Lim Hye-sook noted that solid fuel rockets are relatively simpler in structure and infrastructure than liquid-fuel rockets and could be used in developing low-cost, short-term space launch vehicles from the private sector.

Solid fuel rockets also provide more options on space launch vehicle development and could facilitate space exploration programs.

South Korea aims to strengthen the private space sector and would install rocket infrastructure launched by companies within the country's Naro Space Center in Goheung.


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