[FPSPACE] South Korea's first astronaut in hospital with back pain

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Wed Apr 30 11:00:30 EDT 2008


South Korea's first astronaut in hospital with back pain

by Staff Writers

Seoul (AFP) April 29, 2008

South Korea's first astronaut Yi So-Yeon has been admitted to hospital with 
severe back pains caused by her rough return voyage to Earth, officials said 

The state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute said Yi is undergoing MRI 
and other scans at an air force hospital to determine the exact cause of her 

"She has complained of considerable back pains and will have to cancel all 
her appointments for the time being, including visits to the presidential 
office and TV interviews," a doctor at the military hospital was quoted by 
Yonhap news agency as saying.

Yi and two colleagues returned to Earth in what some Russian media called a 
dangerous re-entry on April 19, when her Russian-designed Soyuz capsule 
landed hundreds of kilometres off target.

Interfax news agency said the capsule was facing the wrong direction when it 
entered the atmosphere, depriving it of the protection of its heat-resistant 

The landing subjected the crew to huge gravitational forces, and experts 
quoted by Yonhap said that Yi may have received more shock than the other 
two members as the capsule hit the ground near her seat.

Yi told an airport press conference on her return home Monday that she has 
some lingering pain.

The 29-year-old biosystems engineer carried out 18 experiments, including 
biological, geophysical and medical tests, during her nine-day mission at 
the International Space Station orbiting the Earth.

South Korea paid some 20 million dollars for her mission, becoming the 36th 
country to send a astronaut into space.

Seoul is scheduled to launch a satellite later this year from its own space 
centre, under construction at the country's southern tip. It plans to launch 
a lunar orbiter by 2020 and send a probe to the moon five years after that.

More information about the FPSPACE mailing list