According to a report in the Bangkok Post dated 4 February 2020, the European Space Agency has scheduled the launch of Thailand’s first military satellite from the Guiana Space Centre, in French Guiana, South America, on 24 March 2020. The launch has previously been postponed twice, in September and December 2019.
The satellite equipped with cameras will help strengthen the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Defense System. The RTAF established a space operations center on in August 2019 in order to enhance operational capacity in space missions. The center would also participate in supporting disaster mitigation operations.
This new center is aligned with the inclusion of space as key domain in RTAF’s strategy, for operations ranging from surveillance and patrol to the creation and maintenance of satellites and tracking of space objects. The RTAF also plans to introduce a draft law to regulate and supervise space operations under the purview of the air force and other government agencies.
Furthermore, a sub-committee has been formed under the national committee on space policy to map out a policy and operations plan on tracking other satellites and orbiting objects to keep pace with growing space traffic and avoid collisions and service disruptions
Multiple Thai communications satellites, survey satellites, and tiny satellites for educational purposes are in orbit. The government is encouraging the Digital Economy and Society Ministry to accelerate drafting of plans for development of Thai space missions.
(Sources: Bangkok Post; New Straits Times)