Satellite to probe Earth next year

Satellite to probe Earth next year

THEOS-2, a new satellite jointly developed with British experts, will be launched into orbit early next year, said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek yesterday.

Designed and developed in the United Kingdom for more than two years, the satellite was recently brought to Thailand, and is now being tested at a testing centre in Chon Buri's Si Racha district, she said.

THEOS-2 is Thailand's first observation satellite, and it is the pride of about 20 Thai engineers at the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda), she said.

It is equipped with sensors, cameras and other high-tech equipment to capture pictures of the globe and measure the magnetic field in space, the sun's movement and sunlight concentration, she said.

Weighing 100 kilogrammes, the satellite is capable of capturing high-resolution images of the Earth, with up to 1 metre per pixel, as it orbits the planet 13 to 14 rounds per day, passing Thailand three to four times daily, she said.

"The new satellite is hailed as the latest innovation in Thailand's space affairs development that will definitely benefit the country's development in several ways," she said.

She added that Gistda has also signed an MoU with scientists to boost competitiveness in the aviation and space industries in the next three years.

"The government is determined to support the local production of [aircraft parts and equipment] ... that meet AS9100D [standards]," she said.

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