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Driving satellite and space technology in Thailand

Image Credits: The Nation, Thailand, News Article

A Thailand-based advanced space technology company has signed a cooperation agreement with a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services, to cooperate on spacecraft and space technology in Thailand. The memorandum of understanding creates a path for the Thai space tech firm to embark on and have an impact on global satellite business and technology.

The partnership marks the beginning of an evolution of future small satellite missions, which includes Earth-observation, Space Situational Awareness, Low Earth Orbit satellite constellations, science and technology and planetary missions.

The cooperation between the two parties is expected to significantly influence Thai space and the satellite industry, to support future Thai satellite missions and push forward the space tech company as a strong and reliable space company in the region.

The Founder and CEO of the space technology company stated that in the next 2-3 years, technology is expected to mature commercially worldwide, the company needs to establish new revenue streams in the long term. He added that based on this agreement, the two companies will act as partners to support satellite component and space technology development, which will influence the satellite and space industry soon.

The collaboration is an opportunity for Thailand to receive support and cooperation from a global leader in aeronautics and space in terms of sharing and exchanging experience, know-how, and relevant processes of manufacturing, including contributing to drive Thai’s space industry to international standards.

Meanwhile, the Head of Asia Pacific arm of the aeronautics services firm stated that the company remains fully committed to the Thailand 4.0 initiative and is excited at this joint development opportunity to further the country’s space goals.

The company has been supporting Thailand’s space industry since the early 2000s, with the development and launch of Theos-1 in 2008 and production on-going for the Theos-2 Earth observation satellites, he said.

As a world leader in turnkey Earth observation systems with unrivalled expertise across the space value chain, the company well-positioned to offer support in the development of the Thai Space economy, the Head stated.

OpenGov Asia previously reported that Thailand is looking to implement a National Space Act, which will integrate all the country’s space-related activities, enact space laws, and boost the space economy.

In a meeting held on 2 October 2020 by the National Space Policy Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, the committee appointed the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) to draft a preliminary Space Act. Currently, GISTDA assumes the role of a space agency in Thailand, although other agencies – such as the Ministry of Defence – conduct space activities of their own, like launching satellites.

The National Space Policy Committee comprises representatives from GISTDA, as well as the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, the Office of the Broadcasting Commission Television, and Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

Thailand believes that an official Space Act will propel the country’s space industry, primarily by capitalizing on the opportunities presented by NewSpace. Among the topics, the Space Act will cover are potential launch sites or spaceports (including the construction of them), satellite manufacturing, space applications, space tourism, space mining, and research experiments in space.

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