According to a media report, South Korea canceled its attempt to visit the space rock Apophis in 2029 because it was not worth the risk.
According to SpaceNews, the proposed Apophis mission had a lack of technical capabilities that rendered it impractical. The ministry decided not to ask for more money to run the mission.
SpaceNews said the mission involved launching a robotic spaceship between July 2026 and January 2027 to accompany Apophis as it whips by Earth in April 2029 The probe would look for changes in the structure of Apophis because of its close encounter with Earth.
Photos show huge asteroid Apophis.
South Korea is a member of the NASA-led Artemis accords and plans to send people to the moon in the future.
The chances of Apophis hitting Earth in 2068. The asteroid does not pose a threat for at least the last century, according to new analysis. NASA continues to keep an eye out for problems but decades of scanning with partner telescopes have yielded no immediately worrisome near- Earth objects.
Shin Won-sik, a science ministry official with South Korea, said the country is considering more asteroid missions. He said that the fourth revision of the space development plan should include something more concrete and realistic than what was feasible with the Apophis mission.
There were few technical details about the mission in the third revision. Shin said that work on the fourth revision should start in the second half of the 21st century.
South Korea will not be going to the asteroid in 2029, but there are other plans in the works to take advantage of the unique opportunity.
NASA's ongoing asteroid-scooping OSIRIS-REx mission will visit Apophis. OSIRIS-APEX is a new name for the mission.
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