Huffpost Science

South Korea's Only Astronaut Just Quit Her Job

Posted: Updated:
Print
Alexander Nemenov via Getty Images
Alexander Nemenov via Getty Images

Yi So-yeon, South Korea's first and only astronaut, just quit her job.

The 36-year-old engineer cited personal reasons in her resignation letter to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, according to media reports in Korea.

Yi, who has been on a leave of absence to pursue an MBA in the U.S., became the first Korean in space in 2008 when she rode on a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station. She spent 11 days on the ISS and then spent the next four years working for the institute before deciding to pursue the degree.

In the wake of Yi's resignation, South Koreans are questioning the government's decision to spend millions in taxpayer money on the astronaut, The Korean Herald reported. The institute reportedly spent more than $25 million to send her into space.

Yi herself faced criticism last year for her decision to pursue her MBA. She defended her decision at that time by saying her goal was to advance Korean space technology, adding, "It was a decision I made after realizing that I can't live the rest of my life talking about what I did in space for 11 days."

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Early Space Missions And The Astronauts Who Led Them
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

South Korea's first—and only—astronaut just quit her job ... - Reddit

South Korea's first—and only—astronaut just quit her job ... - Quartz

For South Korea's First Astronaut, Haas MBA Is a Step Into the ...

South Korean Astronaut Shares Laughs, Space Food With Station ...

Yi So-yeon Remembers Another Space Pioneer - Korea Real Time ...

Kimchi goes to space, along with first Korean astronaut - The New ...

South Korea's First and Only Astronaut Just Quit Her Job

Why South Korea's Only Astronaut Quit