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Countdown! Thailand’s first satellite launch planned for Friday

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: eoportal

Thailand’s air force will launch its first satellite this Friday, following months of delay. Dubbed Napa-1, it’s scheduled to be launched using an Ariane Vega rocket from a staging area in French Guyana in South America, according to a Royal Thai Air Force source. The launch was postponed 3 times, in September and December last year due to technical issues, then again in March because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to the spokesman, the satellite will will be launched into low earth orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometres. It will primarily be used to observe Thai air space for defence and national security purposes, but also to detect hotspots to prevent bushfires, and observe water resources to predict and combat floods or drought. The source says Napa-1’s cameras will play a pivotal role in the RTAF’s defence system, strengthening national security and preventing threats.

The air force bought the satellite from Innovative Solutions in Space, a small satellite manufacturer based in the Netherlands. It’s a CubeSat 6U model and will begin operation when it finally goes into orbit, and will work in tandem with the Napa-2 satellite, scheduled for launch in July.

Its cost has not been revealed but the chief of RTAF’s Space Operation Centre said earlier it cost “less than 100 million baht.” SPOC was set up in August to enhance the RTAF’s capacity in space.

Its main function is air surveillance and space inspection. It can also help in public disaster relief efforts, provide information on hot spots in forests, to help in forest fire prevention and fighting, as well as in the management floods and drought.

The launch will be televised live on the Arianespace YouTube channel on Friday at 8:30am Thai time.

In Isaan each year budding Thai rocketeers try their luck with the Bun Bang Fai festivals around the region. Here’s one successful launch AND retrieval mission. The festivals are meant to celebrate…. oh we really have no idea. But they drink a lot and play loud music.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Khaosod English

 

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Events

Tuesday’s full moon will be a SUPER full moon

Tim Newton

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Tonight there will be a full moon. But not just ANY full moon, a SUPER full moon. Whoooaaa!

Whilst Koh Pha Ngan’s monthly full moon party has been shelved for the meantime, we can still appreciate this monthly phenomenon (well, not quite monthly). The The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand says that the April astronomical phenomenon coincides with the perigee – the point in the orbit of the Moon which is nearest to the earth – so that the full moon will appear larger-than-usual. But we’re only talking a few percent bigger and brighter.

This fluctuation in the full moon’s distance from Earth is caused by the fact that the moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t perfectly circular but very slightly elliptical. If the full moon occurs closer to the perigee (the closest point to Earth on this slightly elliptical orbit), it can appear bigger than if it occurs closer to the apogee (the farthest point).

If you’re a flat-earther you’ll have to come up with your own explanation.

The NARIT says tonight’s the moon will rise in the east from 7pm (of course the Moon always rises in the east). Of course the clouds from the early arrival of the wet season in parts of Thailand will either make the viewing impossible or perhaps more spectacular.

The NARIT has a few tips to get a great photo of tonight’s phenomenon… Use telephoto lens with focal length over 300mm and set your camera’s ISO at 400 or over.

And if you miss this supermoon, we’ll do it all again next month on May 26. This one will be even closer to the Earth and therefore slightly bigger, although the difference will still probably be impossible to spot.

Tuesday's full moon will be a SUPER full moon | News by Thaiger

Tuesday's full moon will be a SUPER full moon | News by ThaigerFor more information, visit HERE.

 

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Events

Lest we forget – ANZAC Day 2021 for Australians and New Zealanders

Tim Newton

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ANZAC Day, April 25, is when Australians and New Zealanders commemorate and remember those who fought for their countries and the Commonwealth with the origins of the event forged in the crucible of war at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915. It is the most solemn day in the annual calendar of those two countries and usually commemorated with dawn services in both countries, by expats around the world, at at Gallipoli in Turkey.

Again, this year, Aussies and Kiwis are honouring the fallen at a distance, in Thailand and in other countries as well where social distancing is currently the norm. But the spirit of the ‘diggers’ and other soldiers lives on as we thank them for the service to their nations.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

Below, Mick Clarke, the manager at Hellfire Pass war cemetery and museum in Kancahaburi, western Thailand near the Burmese border, lays a wreath at dawn this morning.

PHOTOS: Military History Kanchanaburi

Lest we forget - ANZAC Day 2021 for Australians and New Zealanders | News by ThaigerLest we forget - ANZAC Day 2021 for Australians and New Zealanders | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Burmese students to hold Bangkok cultural event to support Civil Disobedience Movement

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Stock photo via Flickr

Burmese students in Thailand are holding an art and culture concert to raise awareness and funds for the Civil Disobedience Movement. The concert, called “Myanmar Spring,” will be held on April 24 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. The event will help fund the movement, which has staged protests over the February 1 coup in Myanmar by the military. It will honour the families of internally displaced individuals and of those who have lost their lives in the conflicts.

Last Friday, the Myanmar military allegedly killed 82 civilians, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an advocacy group. The military then told the families of those killed that they would have to pay US$85 to recover their loved ones’ bodies, according to Bago University Students’ Union’s Facebook page as well as Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service.

Eyewitnesses in Bago say the Burmese military used grenades, RPGs, and assault rifles to quell anti-coup protestors, forcing many villagers and activists to flee and go into hiding. Military security forces are going through the neighbourhoods now and have cut off internet access. Since the February 1 coup, the military has been systematically cracking down against peaceful protesters, detaining 3,000 civilians and killing over 700 more.

NGO Human Rights Watch had published a call for the EU to take action and implement strict sanctions on the Burmese military on Thursday. And yesterday the US Embassy in Myanmar joined the call, posting on Twitter, urging peace.

The art and cultural event will also be held virtually on the same day. Anyone wishing to support the event outside of attending can buy t-shirts at the food festival being held on April 13. The orchestral music concert will be performed by a group of student volunteers and others. There will also be a poetry recital and other heartfelt performances, which the artists say will reflect the struggles for democracy in Myanmar.

Information on tickets and performances for “Myanmar Spring” is on their Facebook page HERE.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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