S. Korea screening astronaut hopefuls

Oct. 17, 2004 at 2:11 PM

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- South Korea's first two astronauts will be chosen next May, the Korea Times reported Sunday.

The Ministry of Science and Technology said the two will be recruited through a four-step selection process, starting with screening of written applications in December.

They will train at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia from July 2005 to March 2007 before boarding the Russian Soyuz spacecraft in October 2007 for a 10-day stay in the Russian module of the International Space Station.

The selection process begins in January when 200 candidates will be selected. Thirty will come out of the second stage after physical and mental exams, written tests and other steps, followed by more testing to cut the list to 10 before the final two are chosen.

The project is being paid for by $5 million in ministry financing and $17.6 million from a broadcasting network.

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