Korean startups race to Space with their own innovations – Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea – Pulse News

[Courtesy of Perigee Aerospace]

[Courtesy of Perigee Aerospace]

South Korean space startups are joining what amounts to the world‘s space race. Amid the successful launch of Innospace’s test launch vehicle HANBIT-TLV in March 2023, Perigee Aerospace Inc. is poised to launch its own vehicle on May 27th, 2024. If the upcoming launch is successful, it will be the first privately developed Korean launch vehicle to head into Space and the company is expected to pursue a public initial offering (IPO) after the launch.

Perigee Aerospace announced its plans to launch its Blue Whale from western Jeju on May 27th or as late as in the first quarter of 2024 using an offshore launch platform owned by the developer called Cetacea 1. The Blue Whale will ascend from a launch pad at sea, enter sub-orbital flight, and descend to the sea surface within a controlled radius.

Perigee Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Shin Yoon when he was just 19. Shin grew up in Canada as his family moved into the country, and later attended Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to graduate with an aerospace engineering major in 2017. With an initial angel investment worth 1.4 billion won ($1.01 million) in 2018, the company grew from a startup to a joint stock company and, according to the latest data, has amassed approximately 57 billion won in investment.

Perigee Aerospace has been developing a compact, two-stage space launch vehicle measuring 20.6 meters long. The Blue Whale rocket will be powered by liquid methane, capable of transporting a 150-kilogram satellite to a sun-synchronous transfer orbit 500 kilometers above Earth and unlike conventional liquid-engine rockets fueled by kerosene, methane offers cost advantages and is free of residues.

The space company affirmed its commitment to showcasing the space technology prowess of domestic space enterprises.

Among the startups endeavoring to pioneer space launch vehicles, Unastella Corp. stands out as Korea’s premier manned launch vehicle venture. The startup, founded in 2022, aims to provide suborbital space travel services by crafting a launch vehicle engineered for manned spaceflight at speeds of up to 100 kilometers.

By Ko Jae-won and Han Yubin

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea &, All rights reserved]


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