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Launch vehicles can be grouped into two categories. The first consists of vehicles that can propel their payloads fast enough at a sufficient altitude to achieve orbit. A launch vehicle that is unable to place a payload in orbit, but can still carry a payload into space, is referred to as a suborbital launch vehicle.
In calendar year 2010, South Korea spent an estimated ## billion won (US$## million) on civil space, a ##% decrease from the 2009 budget of ## billion won ($##million). South Korea’s 2010 planned civil space spending constitutes approximately ##% of the country’s ## trillion won (US$## billion) national budget. Civil space activities in South Korea are carried out by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). During 2010, South Korean space activities included the launch of the Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite (COMS-1) and a second attempted flight of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), South Korea’s space launch vehicle.
Some accepted estimation methods fais to take into account the fact that not all launch vehicles are equal. The smallest orbital launch vehicles can place payloads of only a few hundred kilograms into orbit, while the largest vehicles can carry tens of thousands of kilograms. This section explains how the Space Foundation provides meaningful methods of measuring space infrastructure.
Development continued in 2010 on new commercially operated transportation services that can carry cargo, passengers, and possibly professional astronauts into space. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences made significant progress in development of cargo transportation systems that will be used to resupply the ISS. NASA provided funding to advance development of commercial crew transportation concepts. Although no commercial human spaceflight occurred in 2010, companies developing vehicles to carry people into space attracted investment while testing vehicles and passing milestones in infrastructure development.
The United States, Canada, and Europe together comprised about 35% of first-degree STEM graduates. Japan and South Korea comprised 8% and 6%, respectively, while Australia comprised 2%. Europe led in STEM doctoral degree production, comprising 44% of the total as of 2006 and experiencing growth of 29% between 2002 and 2006.
While mechanisms such as the PISA test reveal a cross-national focus on primary and secondary STEM competency, a more direct measure of the potential international space workforce is offered through a comparative analysis of STEM university graduates by country.
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Nations around the world recognize the potential of space activity to create high-paying jobs, enable new industries and technologies, increase national competitiveness, and add value to the economy. Building for a future that envisions their increasing participation in space, countries are responding with notable human capital investments that combine traditional models of space education with emerging new approaches.
The Sea Launch consortium operates a derivative of the Ukrainian Zenit 2 rocket, modified with Russian and American components and used by Sea Launch as its standard booster since the company’s first launch in 1999. The Zenit-3SL rocket launches from Sea Launch’s ocean platform. A variant of this system, the Zenit-3SLB, launches from the Zenit pad at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.