20:32 GMT +327 September 2016
A man takes picture of the screen displaying the moon, appearing in a dim red colour, which is covered by the Earth's shadow during a total lunar eclipse in Warsaw, Poland September 28, 2015

South Korea to Launch Lunar Exploration in 2016, Land Vessel by 2020

© REUTERS/ Kacper Pempel
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South Korea plans to launch a lunar exploration project next year with a 2020 timeframe of landing a lunar vessel, the country’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said as quoted by local media Wednesday.

TOKYO (Sputnik) – The ministry has earmarked an equivalent of over $17 million in 2016 for the $169-million project, according to the Yonhap news service.

The project’s first 2016-2018 stage envisions sending an orbiter to the moon, followed by a landing vessel with an independently developed launch vehicle under the second phase.

Additionally, the ministry plans to independently develop an orbiter and a ground station using domestic technologies. Seoul plans to cooperate with foreign agencies including the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop payloads, according to the outlet.

The ministry disclosed plans to make a moon landing by 2020-2025 in 2007.

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