South Korea launched a program Monday for research and development of basic technologies aimed at exploring the moon.
The program seeks to develop four major technologies required to build a spacecraft, rover, deep-space station and other equipment, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
"Exploration of the moon requires related technologies from various fields ranging from information-technology and nuclear energy to robotics and resource exploration, and thus the new research program has a significant meaning as our first step toward moon exploration," the ministry said.
The latest program involves 15 state-run and private institutes, including the Korea Aerospace Industries, which has also been named the main developer of the country's first indigenous space launch vehicle set to be launched in 2020.
South Korea plans to land a spacecraft on the moon in 2020. (Yonhap News)