French backing sought for two Thai projects as space collaboration strengthened
The Thai-French collaboration on space technology will benefit both countries in the long term, a House committee said on Sunday.
Kalaya Rungwichitchai, chairperson of the House Committee on Communications, Telecommunications and Digital Economy and Society, said the collaboration had been discussed in detail with French Ambassador Thierry Mathou last week.
Settapong Malisuwan, the committee’s deputy chairperson, said the committee also sought France’s support for its two projects:
• Space technology laboratory at Chiang Rai’s Wiang Pa Pao Technical College to teach students about climate change and sustainable development via satellite images.
• A project teaching students to build a small satellite initiated by King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Latkrabang
“If these projects receive support from France, we believe they will benefit the space industry,” Settapong said.
He added that Mathou agreed that startups would be an important force to develop the space economy in Thailand.
Mathou has proposed that Thailand and France collaborate on space technology education, student exchange and research, Settapong said.
"Mathou also proposed a collaboration between agencies, such as Thailand's Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency and France's Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales," he said.
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The committee's honorary adviser Amarin Pimnoo said Thai researchers and agencies should be allowed to participate in the development of the Lunar Gateway, an extra-terrestrial space station in lunar orbit.
"This will help develop Thailand's space technology further," he said, adding that the space station is scheduled to be launched next year.