A spacecraft unit was found in the ocean off the coast of South Korea, a ministry official said Wednesday.
The vessel was found Wednesday, but it was unclear if it belonged to a crewmember, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.
The unit was discovered near the island of Jindo, the agency said in a statement.
The discovery comes as South Korea and Japan prepare for a planned landing of a robotic spaceship in Japan.
The mission is the first of its kind for South Korea’s space agency.
It’s a $3.5 billion program aimed at developing a robotic lander to explore the moon and Mars.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that the lander will be deployed from the site of the decommissioned space shuttle program’s last launch.
The space agency’s next mission will be a landing of the country’s space station in 2021.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who will be inaugurated on Friday, said in December he planned to send a robotic mission to the moon by the end of this year.