The country's second earth observation satellite, which is widely known as THEOS-2, is expected to launch into orbit on Oct 7, said Minister of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Supamas Isarabhakdi.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday about the launch of the low-earth orbit satellite, Ms Supamas said her ministry also plans a THEOS-3 project to increase the country's expertise in space technology.
She said the THEOS-2 satellite will help the country own natural resources data, which can be shared by both state-owned agencies and the private sector.
It will also inspire the young generation to take more interest in space technology, which is key to the development of the domestic industry.
"The launch is an important milestone for the country's space technology and innovation development. We will extend our research and development efforts under the coming THEOS-3 project, enhancing the country's competency in space technology,'' she said.
The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) has owned the 7.8 billion-baht project dubbed THEOS-2 (also known as the Thailand Earth Observation Satellite) since 2019.
The 425-kilogramme earth satellite will be launched into orbit on Oct 7 at 8.36am (Thai time) at the Guiana Space Centre in South America, and the event will be witnessed by the minister's team. A ground-based satellite station in Chon Buri's Si Racha district will receive its first signal at 10.53am that day.
GISTDA director Pakorn Apaphant said THEOS-2 is the country's first satellite with such high image resolution, which can detect an object on earth just 50 centimetres in scale.
Mr Pakorn said the data will be used for the country's economic and social development plan, including farming development, disaster management, and even carbon credit management.
Olivier Chalvet, regional director for defence for Airbus, said THEOS-2's launch is a milestone of 15 years of collaboration with Thailand. The project combines the company's state-of-the-art space technology and GIDTDA's expertise, he said.
GISTDA plans to launch the first-ever made-in-Thailand low-earth satellite into orbit next year, to be known as THEOS-2A.