ASEAN nations eager to conquer space

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satellite_photoUnnoticed by many, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have stepped up their spending for space science in the past, with some of them having established prestigious space programmes, partly at the expense of much-needed education, healthcare and infrastructure funding.

Vietnam launched its first remote sensing satellite on May 4, 2013, into orbit from the Kourou launch pad in French Guyana, a project costing $73,3 million. The satellite is meant to monitor natural resources from space and provide other geospatial data. A second satellite will be launched by 2017, according to the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. In 2008 and 2012, the country launched two telecommunication satellites, Vinasat-1 and Vinasat-2. The satellites are communicating with the Hanoi-based Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park.

With the May 4 launch, Vietnam became the 5th ASEAN nation to own a remote sensing satellite after Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand already have advanced space agencies of their own, while in the Philippines a bill was filed in December 2012 that paves the way for the creation of a national space agency. Even Laos has its own space programme.

Figures from market consultancy Euroconsult on ASEAN governments’ 2012 investment in civil space programmes show that Vietnam was the largest spender among this group with $93 million, followed by Laos with $87 million, Indonesia with $38 million, Thailand with $20 million and Malaysia $18 million.

Critics say that funding for space programmes, especially  for poorer ASEAN members such as Laos, should better be used for health and education development. Those countries have a difficult task to prove that the pace of space programme development is aligned with their overall goals of development and poverty reduction.

Others, however, say that developing countries can benefit from their own space technology that helps to predict weather, which, in turn, can increase crop yields, provides better communication and assists with emergency management.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Unnoticed by many, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have stepped up their spending for space science in the past, with some of them having established prestigious space programmes, partly at the expense of much-needed education, healthcare and infrastructure funding.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

satellite_photoUnnoticed by many, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have stepped up their spending for space science in the past, with some of them having established prestigious space programmes, partly at the expense of much-needed education, healthcare and infrastructure funding.

Vietnam launched its first remote sensing satellite on May 4, 2013, into orbit from the Kourou launch pad in French Guyana, a project costing $73,3 million. The satellite is meant to monitor natural resources from space and provide other geospatial data. A second satellite will be launched by 2017, according to the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. In 2008 and 2012, the country launched two telecommunication satellites, Vinasat-1 and Vinasat-2. The satellites are communicating with the Hanoi-based Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park.

With the May 4 launch, Vietnam became the 5th ASEAN nation to own a remote sensing satellite after Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand already have advanced space agencies of their own, while in the Philippines a bill was filed in December 2012 that paves the way for the creation of a national space agency. Even Laos has its own space programme.

Figures from market consultancy Euroconsult on ASEAN governments’ 2012 investment in civil space programmes show that Vietnam was the largest spender among this group with $93 million, followed by Laos with $87 million, Indonesia with $38 million, Thailand with $20 million and Malaysia $18 million.

Critics say that funding for space programmes, especially  for poorer ASEAN members such as Laos, should better be used for health and education development. Those countries have a difficult task to prove that the pace of space programme development is aligned with their overall goals of development and poverty reduction.

Others, however, say that developing countries can benefit from their own space technology that helps to predict weather, which, in turn, can increase crop yields, provides better communication and assists with emergency management.

 

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