Welcome to the page of SGAC Thailand, the land of thousand smiles! We use the word “Sawasdee / สวัสดี” for greeting and “Awagrad / อวกาศ” for space. You have found the right spot if you are interested in Space-related subjects in Thailand, and we hope that you will join our network. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact any of the NPoCs of Thailand!
At the moment, Thailand does not have a single national space agency, but multiple space-related agencies. Thailand also lacks of space national legislation to implement obligations under space treaties signed by Thailand. However, the awareness for space is still high, and people are beginning to see beyond the image of “being an astronaut.” The importance of space is widely recognised among the young generations and terms like NASA, space shuttle or GPS are normal topics of discussion among them. Young Thai students aspire to emulate heroes they see on television and among them – doctors, engineers and astronauts lead the pack. Thailand has been in Space for almost 20 years, with the launch of the first Thai Communication Satellite – THAICOM I. Four more THAICOM satellites followed, and in 2008, Thailand launched its first Earth Observation Satellite called Thailand Earth Observation System (THEOS), which is the first Earth Observation Satellite in South-East Asia. THEOS satellite has been used for natural resource management and natural disaster planning and mitigation. Yearly, the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), the operator of THEOS, visits schools and universities, as well as invite student to visit the THEOS ground station to interact with students on topics of remote sensing and satellite technology. The establishment of SGAC is still at the beginning stage, but we are very confident that Thailand can progress brightly into the future!
Young Space Activities Overview in Thailand
|Two SGAC members at "Career day
and Space Camp" at PSU, Phuket
Currently, space activities in Thailand are limited mainly to Government Agencies. However, students groups and universities are now emerging in this field. Recently, the “Thailand Near Space Research Group” launched the first high altitude balloon with sensors and tracking devices in order to study the higher atmosphere. The project was self-funded and the students basically used their own funding and capabilities without external help. This shows the interests that Thai youth have on the final frontier - space. GISTDA, the national organization for space activities has also initiated several programs under its aegis to promote space activities with both the academia and the industry. 2013 mark the beginning of a long-term project to bring the Thai industry – already capable at high-tech manufacturing – to venture into space technology manufacturing. Moreover, it is also very feasible that the 1st cubesat project will be initiated with the participation from 6 universities under the APSCO project. The 1st clean room for space technology will also be completed this year at the Space Krenovation Park in Sriracha.
Country-Specific Events in 2013
- The 1st COSPAR symposium: The 1st COSPAR symposium will be held in Bangkok in November 2013. This symposium is the first of a new series of events initiated by COSPAR. It will be held every two years in a different area of the world. This first Symposium aims at promoting space and astronomical research on the theme of “Planetary Systems of our Sun and other Stars, and the Future of Space Astronomy” at regional level, which include multidisciplinary sessions and training sessions. Professional, young professional and students in the ASEAN region and worldwide are encouraged to participate. A capacity building workshop will also be organized during the week before the Symposium. The Symposium will feature both plenary lectures and parallel as well as poster sessions.
- GISTDA Youth Space: The camp will make its rounds around Thailand. The Youth Space Camp is an educational project initiated by GISTDA. During the Youth Space Camp, scientist and engineers from GISTDA will visit and stay at the school for 3 to 5 days and educate the students about all space related subjects in a fun and informational way. Field work including using a GPS receiver, studying maps, star watching and learning about Satellite Remote Sensing Technologies are all part of the day’s work. The space camp is conducted at least twice per year and more, if demanded.
- The Ground Station of THEOS Satellite also hosts a public day annually and in 2013 as well. On this day, the ground station is open to all visitors. Engineers and Scientists will have several educational centers discussing the different work required in operating an Earth Observation Satellite. The day will be full of activities aimed at schoolchildren and teachers.
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Thailand
GISTDA Youth Ambassador page on Facebook
National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT)
Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS)
Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APANP)
Sunflowercosmos.org – A very informative website in Thai on Astronomy and Space science
Darasart.com – Astronomy and Star gazing club in Thailand
Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA)
Astronomy network for schools in Thailand
Institute of Space Knowledge Development (ISKD)
Thirteenth Youth Space Camp - Youth Space Camp conducted by ISKD
Bangkok Planetarium – where the stars are within your grasps