Singapore makes a foray into space

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satSingapore is pushing to strengthen its space technology industry with a focus on satellites and components and eventually wants to set up its own domestic space programme in an aim to diversify its electronics industry, local media reported.

The city state in a first step wants to manufacture satellites to meet growing demand for top-speed Internet connections worldwide as well as high-resolution images commonly used in surveillance, forestry and energy exploration, creating a number of highly skilled jobs in the segment to replace jobs lost with the decline of disc media and computer parts manufacturing.

There are no official figures on how much the country plans to invest to tap the lucrative niche segment, but reports speak of “hundreds of millions of dollars” if projects by government-linked firms are included. Currently, Singapore is also a base for communication satellite operators such as Eutelsat and Inmarsat.

However, the country will have to compete with industry majors such as Lockheed Martin and Thales, industry experts say, as well as with Chinese and South Korean firms that build satellites at competitive prices. Large communications satellites are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Smaller ones, such as those used for weather forecasts and mapping forests and the sea, typically cost $60 million to $100 million.

Globally, the space industry has a value of around $300 billion, and it grew 6.7 per cent in 2012.

Another market for Singapore could be space travel, a new niche segment that is now coming to Southeast Asia. European aerospace company EADS has said it might want to use Singapore’s Changi airport to launch commercial space flights starting from 2017.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Singapore is pushing to strengthen its space technology industry with a focus on satellites and components and eventually wants to set up its own domestic space programme in an aim to diversify its electronics industry, local media reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

satSingapore is pushing to strengthen its space technology industry with a focus on satellites and components and eventually wants to set up its own domestic space programme in an aim to diversify its electronics industry, local media reported.

The city state in a first step wants to manufacture satellites to meet growing demand for top-speed Internet connections worldwide as well as high-resolution images commonly used in surveillance, forestry and energy exploration, creating a number of highly skilled jobs in the segment to replace jobs lost with the decline of disc media and computer parts manufacturing.

There are no official figures on how much the country plans to invest to tap the lucrative niche segment, but reports speak of “hundreds of millions of dollars” if projects by government-linked firms are included. Currently, Singapore is also a base for communication satellite operators such as Eutelsat and Inmarsat.

However, the country will have to compete with industry majors such as Lockheed Martin and Thales, industry experts say, as well as with Chinese and South Korean firms that build satellites at competitive prices. Large communications satellites are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Smaller ones, such as those used for weather forecasts and mapping forests and the sea, typically cost $60 million to $100 million.

Globally, the space industry has a value of around $300 billion, and it grew 6.7 per cent in 2012.

Another market for Singapore could be space travel, a new niche segment that is now coming to Southeast Asia. European aerospace company EADS has said it might want to use Singapore’s Changi airport to launch commercial space flights starting from 2017.

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