Research Information

Establishment of Technology Roadmap Direction and Technology Classification System for the Construction of Manned Extraterrestrial Bases
  • Date2024-03-22
  • Hit165

Establishment of Technology Roadmap Direction and Technology Classification System for the Construction of Manned Extraterrestrial Bases

 

 

▲ Senior Researcher Chung Joon-soo, Department of Building Research, KICT

 

유인 우주기지건설 기술로드맵 추진방향 및 기술분류체계 설정

 

 

Prologue


NASA, the United States agency that sent humans to the moon in 1969, has been actively pursuing the Artemis program in collaboration with 21 countries worldwide since 2019, aiming to send humans back to the moon after 50 years. The European Space Agency (ESA) announced plans to build a "Moon Village" near the South Pole of the Moon by 2040, where about 100 explorers can reside. China and Russia are jointly pursuing plans for a lunar research base. Even Japan announced policies, strategies, and technology roadmaps for construction of an extraterrestrial base in 2019. Not only national agencies but also private companies are developing launch vehicles and dreaming of extraterrestrial bases and cities.


In October 2022, Korea announced 12 national strategic technologies that will contribute to future growth and economic security in an era of competition for technological hegemony. This includes "aerospace and maritime." In November, the 4th "Basic Plan for the Promotion of Space Development" was unveiled through a public hearing, with the goal of making Korea a global space economy powerhouse by 2045. Major milestones include a lunar landing in 2032, participation in a lunar base in 2035, Mars landing in 2045, and manned transportation by 2050.
Thus far, Korea has established a mid-to-long-term support system for its space industry, and has rapidly developed its capabilities. However, it lags behind the advanced aerospace nations in terms of policy, technology, investment, and the overall industry. In response to domestic and international changes, it is necessary to establish a roadmap for the development of core technologies for constructing extraterrestrial bases in the construction sector and for future extraterrestrial base construction. Korea is at a point where it needs to start contemplating the roadmap for manned extraterrestrial base construction technology in order to proactively secure construction technology on the moon and Mars, and to ensure international competitiveness in the forthcoming space economy and society.


Against this backdrop, the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) has initiated research this year to develop a technology roadmap for constructing manned extraterrestrial bases. This endeavor involves not only civil engineering experts but also architectural specialists, with collaborative efforts extending to domestic and international expert groups. This article seeks to introduce the initial outline of the ongoing research on the technology roadmap, while highlighting its significance.

 

Figure 1 Trend Analysis

 

(1) Mega Trend Analysis

The STEEP analysis reveals trends, key influences, and implications, confirming the pressing international and socio-economic impetus driving space development pursuits. It underscores that we are at a critical juncture to secure cutting-edge technological capabilities amid this intensely competitive landscape (See Figure 1).

 

(2) Analysis of Global Projects and Domestic and International Industrial Ecosystems

In the context of the New Space environment and the new Cold War, obtaining advanced technology is a key factor in enhancing national competitiveness given the competition among nations to secure technological capabilities. Advanced nations are making significant investments in acquiring space technology, while ongoing efforts to nurture the space industry and pursue exploration plans continue in the name of maintaining industrial sustainability. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the expansion of private sector collaboration and participation in resource-intensive space exploration will shape a new industrial ecosystem. Emerging sectors, such as deep space communications, navigation technology, landing vehicles, and robotics are also gaining prominence within the space industry.

 

(3) Analysis of Environmental Issues

We have examined environmental issues that need to be considered for construction and human habitation in the space environment in order to derive the technologies required to create the "minimal" environmental requirements for human habitation in space (see Figure 2). Based on the expertise and materials provided by professionals in the fields of astronomy and space science, we have analyzed the issues and are uncovering the technologies needed to address each issue. We are also considering the technological development trends and the determination of the timing of development, taking into account some necessary technologies that are not yet in an implemented state.

 

Establishment of Direction of Roadmap for Manned Extraterrestrial Base Construction Technology

The goal is to pursue mission-oriented R&D to establish a comprehensive foundation for the construction of a manned extraterrestrial base. A technology demand survey will be conducted based on the technology classification system to discover promising technologies. Within the networking of global technology leading groups, necessary technologies will be verified, and priorities for international cooperation will be derived.

 

Figure 2 Analysis of Environmental Issues

 

Figure 3 Direction Overview

 

Figure 4 Major Categories in the Technology Classification System

 

Establishment of Technology Classification System for Manned Extraterrestrial Base Construction

Construction elements were identified to establish a technology classification system based on space exploration roadmaps and technology roadmaps from other countries. In addition, essential technology groups were prioritized by benchmarking against NASA Technology Taxonomy 2020, the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) exploration roadmap, the European Space Agency (ESA) Terrae Novae 2030+, and Japan's Ministry of Education, Science and Culture's Space Vision 2050. It is also linked with Korea's Space Technology Roadmap 3.0. Furthermore, plans are in place to further refine the technology classification system by identifying additional technologies deemed necessary in the future.

 

 

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References
• Chung Joon-soo, Kim Han-saem, Cho Hyun-mi, Kim Hong-seop, Choi Kyung-chul, Chae Ji-yong, Choi Young-han (2023). A Study on Direction Setting for Establishing a Technology Roadmap for Manned Extraterrestrial Base Construction. Proceedings of the 2023 Fall Conference of The Korean Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences, November 16, p. 92.
•Chung Joon-soo et al. (2023). Collaboration Development of Core Technologies for Manned Extraterrestrial Base Construction (1st Year). Evaluation Material for Inception Stage Presentation, November 2023.

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