The first Thai-manufactured satellite, named the TSC-Pathfinder and designed to survey Earth’s natural resources, is planned to be launched in 2023. The launch is part of a schedule by the Ministry of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation’s developing space technology programme to launch 5 small satellites between 2021 and 2027. Space engineering development and application, research and development, and educational and industrial support will be the focus of their new programme. The TSC Pathfinder’s project manager reported that a minimum of 15 staff members on the project would be trained in China within the next year about the construction and engineering of satellites.
While Thailand did officially launch a satellite last year, it was manufactured in the Netherlands and launched in French Guiana. The Thai-made satellite is the first thing in space made in Thailand, aside from some trees on the International Space Station.
It’s exciting to see Thailand enter the space race, although some people are critical, asking if the big price tag on a project like this will actually benefit Thailand and its citizens. Many people have posted publicly on social media pointing out that, while the government spends heavily on advanced space technology, many Thai people are struggling with poverty.
MHESI Minister Anek Laothamatas believes that developing space technology would definitely be beneficial for future investors because of the expansion of advanced technology into everyday life for so many people. He believes that while the launch of these satellites is just establishing of the basic infrastructure needed to develop the technology further, the field will actually create a lot of jobs and stimulate the economy in the long run.
“The space technology business will be able to create start-up businesses related to space technology and in doing so elevate the country’s economy.”
The MHESI have planned five satellite launches between now and 2027:
- The TSC-Pathfinder, launching in 2023 to survey natural resources
- The TSC-1, launching in 2025 to survey the Earth
- The TSC-PFT1, launch date TBD to probe dual-system technology
- The TSC-PFT2, launch date TBD to analyze a system of sending and receiving signals in a low-frequency-X band
- The TSC-2, launching by 2027, to use the developments of the third and fourth satellites in order to reach the Moon’s orbit
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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