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27 ‘KITSAT’ researchers to donate 3 billion won to KAIST

27 ‘KITSAT’ researchers to donate 3 billion won to KAIST

Posted August. 19, 2022 07:52,   

Updated August. 19, 2022 07:52


Twenty-seven researchers from KAIST's Satellite Technology Research Center, including former Satrec Initiative Chairman Park Seong-dong, donated 3 billion won (approximately 2.27 million U.S. dollars) to KAIST. The donation was made on Thursday last week, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Korea's first artificial satellite KITSAT-1. Their donation will be used to promote innovative and creative technology research in the aerospace and technology sector.

KAIST announced on Thursday that 27 people from the KAIST Satellite Technology Research Center who are active in industry, academia and research have promised to donate 3 billion won of the development funds. The name of the donated funds is ‘KITSAT Satellite Research Fund.’

The research center was established in August 1989 when Korea's space development capabilities were at its infancy. Immediately after its establishment, the research center signed a joint research agreement with the University of Surrey, UK, and sent students with various academic backgrounds such as electrical and electronic and physics to develop satellites. This was a strategy to nurture manpower in the space science field and to rapidly advance basic capabilities by acquiring satellite technologies.

KITSAT-1 is Korea's first satellite that was completed with technologies transferred from Surrey University. The satellite was launched on August 11, 1992 from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana, making Korea the 22nd country to possess a satellite. The center is credited with serving as a cradle for South Korean satellite research and development. KITSAT-2 and 3, three STSAT OBC (on-board computer) series satellites, and one next-generation small satellite were also launched from this center.

In addition to former Chairman Park, the list of donors includes Kim Seong-heon, a professor of medicine at Cornell University, Seon Jong-ho, a professor of space science at Kyunghee University, and Choi Kyung-il, chief technology officer (CTO) of KT sat. They used to be international students sent by the center to leading universities with advanced space technologies. "We decided to donate to KAIST to show our appreciation and to repay what we have received from society,” they said.