I figure as possible the biggest anglophone hard-SF geek in Korea, I should at least mention this on my blog.
The Korea Times reported on Yi So-yeon recently, who may be the first Korean astronaut. I don’t know the other guy, but having seen the podcasted video interviews with her on SeoulGlow (which are worth your while) I’m familiar with her and therefore rooting for her. Michael’s been covering the story a lot better than I have, and I’m a few months behind on it, but I wanted at least to note it.
One of the odd things I’ve noticed is that South Korea’s space program is linked to Russia. I went to the official site to read more about this, but what do you know — the Flash page is so badly designed that in Firefox in Linux, the links in the header don’t even work. Korean spaceships will be running on Windows Starship edition, I suppose. If that’s the case, I don’t think I’ll be riding in any. (Though I will log in under Windows sometime to read more.)
There’s also the reaction of the netizens, which is, from what she said, the reaction of a populace of media-brainwashed morons. The reason her head looks big, idiots, is because she has a brain in it. I swear, the stupidity of someone who thinks that astronauts should be chosen on the basis of looking like Jeon Ji-Hyun or Hyori astonishes me. Have people been writing nasty comments about how handsome or not-handsome Ko San is? (Click on the picture to the left for a better look at the both of them.)
This is what happens when people watch too much bloody TV, and don’t read enough — as I am sure these Korean netizens picking on Yi do. Their reference frame gets screwed up and they think the most important qualification for everything is physical appearance.
Anyway, it’s odd. I wonder why South Korea didn’t try run a cooperative mission with NASA instead of the USSR? Politics, I suppose, that or the fact that NASA’s kind of dying a slow death?
In any case, here’s rooting for Miss Yi.