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Unveiling a Galactic Surprise: Thailand’s Space Economy Ignites with 6 billion baht bonanza! Next Global Space Hub On The Horizon?

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Boasting over 35,000 enterprises that are intertwined with the space economy or stand to see significant gains from it, Thailand is a hotbed of potential in this cutting-edge industry. These ventures collectively contribute an impressive 56 billion baht per year to the country’s GDP, according to Associate Professor Komsan Maleesee, the rector of KMITL.

He spoke about the manifold advantages of establishing a regional space hub. For one, it could spur the creation of novel job opportunities across a plethora of sectors. Additionally, it would enable local governments to leverage space technology to proactively manage natural catastrophes such as droughts, floods, forest fires, and climate change consequences. The technology can also provide real-time monitoring of PM2.5 air contamination levels.

Interestingly, global space entities have already assessed the strategic potential of Chumphon province. Given its proximity to the Equator, it offers a prime location for constructing a spaceport. The planned space hub would therefore catapult Thailand into the ranks of the world’s sought-after launch locations, on par with Africa, Brazil, and the Philippines.

Apart from its operational functions, the new space hub has broader implications for educational and scientific advancement. It is intended to be a place of learning and discovery, catalyzing innovation in space technology among academics, researchers, entrepreneurs, startups, and students.

Envisioned as a comprehensive facility, the space hub will be divided into five main segments:

Firstly, there’s a Very High Frequency (VHF) weather station equipped with space radar. This state-of-the-art installation was established in 2020, in partnership with Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. The station is Asia’s premier space-based weather outpost, positioned in one of the top four global locations for this purpose.

Another key component is the Earthquake and Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) capabilities. Set up earlier this year under the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation’s aegis, it is a testament to the region’s collaborative spirit in tackling global challenges.

The third component, the Excellence Centre of Space Technology and Research (ECSTAR), serves as a nerve center for avant-garde space innovation and technology, including satellite design and launch operations.

Furthermore, the Institute of Space-Earth Environment Research will concentrate on the practical applications of space technology. This includes utilizing satellite imagery for safeguarding forests and enhancing national security.

Rounding out the space hub’s five-part blueprint is the Space Learning Park, an all-ages learning hub dedicated to making the wonders and complexities of space accessible to everyone.

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