ISU MSS18 Internship stories: Josh Lalonde reports from KARI, South Korea


“On my first day at the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), I met my supervisors Ms. Chung Soyoung from the Space Policy team and Dr. Ju Gwangheok from the Lunar Exploration team. It was determined that I would work on lunar exploration…

… in the context of KARI’s second phase of lunar exploration – the mission following their first lunar orbiter mission scheduled for 2020. The idea is to help determine the type of mission that Korea will do by researching globally relevant lunar exploration topics such as the Moon Village concept, and by gaining an understanding of the Korean industrial and political landscape to determine the most suitable mission to carry out in the context of South Korea’s national goals and the current opportunities for international cooperation within large-scale space exploration activities.

Most of the first week was used to reflect on how I would do this in order to write a formal proposal. In that same week, I also got the opportunity to attend a presentation given by Dr. Pete Worden of the Breakthrough Foundation.
During some days off, I visited Jeju island, an island south of the Korean peninsula, a very popular tourist destination during the summer, which is most appreciated for its natural wonders, good food and good ocean side views. For the rest of my time in Korea, I intend to keep enjoying various aspects of its unique culture while working diligently towards my specific internship goals.”

KARI and ISU signed an agreement in 2017, covering and confirming several potential fields of common cooperation which for some had already been in place for many years. ISU has already welcomed KARI staff members into its programs, the Master of Space Studies and Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program. The most notorious being Korean astronaut Dr. Soyeon Yi who took ISU’s Space Studies Program in 2009 and regularly comes back as lecturer.

The last module of ISU's Master of Space Studies (MSS) program is a three-month internship that ISU students carry out in space agencies, space companies, start-ups, universities and other space-related organizations.

ISU MSS students are working all over the world, gaining valuable skills in many different environments, on many different types of projects.

More about KARI

Photo: MSS18 student Josh Lalonde on internship at KARI