Would-Be Astronauts Itch to Take Taegeukgi Into Space

      May 17, 2006 21:06

      The item most applicants hoping to become Korea's first astronaut would like to carry into space is the Korean national flag. The Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday announced results of a survey of 6,670 applicants, which also showed that the largest group (44.8 percent) were motivated by a search for adventure or a unique job. Another 27.9 percent said that they wanted to contribute to Korea's manned space program and 26.3 percent said they wanted to fulfill a childhood dream.

      Most the applicants or 52.7 percent said if they were chosen they would take the Korean flag, while 23.3 percent said they would bring a picture of their family of significant other, and 8.3 percent said some kind of IT equipment. As for what they would most like to do in space, 34.2 percent said speak with the people in a live broadcast, while 24.8 percent said they would want to talk to their families via video link and 21 percent said take pictures in zero gravity.

      The ministry and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute agreed with the Russian Space Agency to send the first Korean into space in April 2008. So far they have received 17,961 applications. By the end of the year, applicants will be filtered through a four-step process that will leave two finalists.

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