Accepted Paper:

Provided Promises and Accepted Promises of Korean First Astronaut Program  


Seungmi Chung (Virginia Tech)

Paper short abstract:

Korean Government provided promise of public involvement and social benefit by Korean First Astronaut Program. But, public understanding about the promises differed with government. The difference caused the program as failure. The research analyzes what the difference is and how/why it occurred.

Paper long abstract:

Emerging sciences including big science have performed by government until it becomes non-emerging science. Government plans, performs the program, and provides promises and rationales to the nation. Space program is one of these science.

Korean government has provided various rationales for space program. The rationales promised higher national pride, social benefit, and economic benefit. Scholars also argued Korean space program has promised modernization, self-defense, economic security, and national prestige. Korean First astronaut program started at this point.

As beginning of human space program, Korean government started the program with the goal of public promotion of science and technology. It promised that the nation is the member of scientific activities and the nation dreamed to participate in scientific activities as astronaut through it. As program has processed, government added some more promises including technology catch up and economic benefit on the previous promise. However, the Korean nation accepted the promises differently. It caused the serious critiques about program from the public and finally the program became failed and tabooed project in Korea.

This research argues that the different view about promises of program between Korean government and nation is the one important reason that the program became to be considered as failure. It examine what the difference is, how and why it occurred. Major methods of research are analysis of government documents, newspapers, and public response through online news. This research can be helpful to understand the misunderstanding of promise of emerging science affects the results of scientific program.

Panel T094
Emerging science and technology : questioning the regime of promising