Cabinet approves space bill

Cabinet approves space bill

A rocket launches from French Guiana carrying the air force's first security satellite in 2020. Royal Thai Air Force
A rocket launches from French Guiana carrying the air force's first security satellite in 2020. Royal Thai Air Force

The cabinet has approved in principle the Space Affairs Bill, proposed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI), deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said.

The MHESI said that, according to the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), Thailand has over 35,600 businesses linked to space and its related industries.

These businesses make about 56.1 billion baht a year in revenue.

However, there are still legal restrictions on Thailand's space policy, so the country needs an agency to oversee space operations and tell international space agencies that Thailand is a member, she said.

Ms Rachada said the cabinet approved the Space Affairs Bill in principle, because it is clear that space affairs are vital to economic development and technological advancement.

The core principles included the planning of a policy to support both state and public sector participation in a "new space economy", the creation of a national space policy committee to draw up space policy.

The bill also sets up a national space administration agency to perform secretarial tasks for the national space policy committee, with a director that will have the power to appoint officials.

Ms Rachada said the "new space economy" concerns the use of innovation and knowledge from space technologies such as satellite launching services, satellite internet services, space exploration, space research and experimentation, design of rockets or spacecraft, and space tourism.

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