South Korea eyes moon orbiter in 2020, landing 2025

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SEOUL, Nov 20 (Reuters) South Korea plans to launch a lunar probe in 2020 and make a moon landing by 2025 under a new space project that will develop indigenous rockets to put satellites into orbit, the Science Ministry said today.

The lunar probe programme will be based on a rocket South Korea is developing at a cost of 3.6 trillion won (3.9 billion dollars) in the next decade.

South Korea is behind regional powers Japan and China in the space race.

China became only the third country to launch a man into space on its own rocket in 2003 and put its first lunar probe into orbit in early November.

Japan's first lunar probe began orbiting the moon in October, four years behind schedule due to technical glitches. (Reporting by Jack Kim; editing by Jon Herskovitz) REUTERS PD ND1516

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