First in-house satellite 'ready in 2 years'

First in-house satellite 'ready in 2 years'

The first in-house satellite to be built as part of a collaboration deal between the Excellence Centre for Space Technology and Research (Ecstar) and the United Kingdom-based In-Space Missions Ltd is expected to be ready in two years, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said yesterday.

Building the satellite is one of the missions included in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two companies.

The MoU, signed last month, is expected to be used to pursue cooperation in satellite and space affairs.

Ecstar, which is under King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang's International Academy of Aviation Industry (IAAI), is keen to develop space research and technological development in the country.

Mr Chai said the country will benefit from the collaboration in many ways. The first is knowledge transmission and the development of related technologies that will help with crucial issues, such as air pollution, wildfires, and climate change.

According to Mr Chai, the MoU, especially regarding satellite building, is expected not only to gain international trust but also to help encourage technology development and job opportunities.

"The satellite collaboration is expected to help modernise Thailand in every aspect. The prime minister [Srettha Thavisin] is confident the country will have the opportunity to have technology development and knowledgeable workers for growing space operations," said Mr Chai.

The collaboration is expected to kick off next March, with the first product to be finished in two years. The satellite is due to be sent into orbit within three years, the spokesman added.

Ecstar director Charnwit Munikanont said earlier the MoU was forged to maximise the country's opportunities in building in-house satellites with other countries in the future.

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