National space agencies of Asia-Pacific countries look to develop satellites in collaboration

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the national space agencies of the Asia-Pacific region are looking towards collaboratively developing small and cube satellites, a senior Indian space official said on Friday.

The Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (SSOD) deploys a set of NanoRacks CubeSats. Image: Reuters

The Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (SSOD) deploys a set of NanoRacks CubeSats. Image: Reuters

Heads of space agencies from 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific Region along with various government bodies had come together for the 24th session of the Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) that was held here from 14-17 November.

At the forum, working groups with space representatives from different countries had put forth few recommendations regarding space-industry-related collaborations between the countries.

"Some of the salient points that emerged during the working group recommendations include national space agencies in Asia-Pacific region collaboratively developing small/cube satellites, as data from these satellites could provide inputs to solve various issues which the region commonly faces," said Chairman of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) A.S. Kiran Kumar at a media briefing here on the sidelines of APRSAF.

CubeSats are the light-weight satellites, weighing no more than 1.33kg per unit, that can be used for scientific research, earth observation etc.

The recommendations also looked to promote educational activities in the countries using space, space application in the fields of rice crop monitoring, global rainfall monitoring, haze monitoring and disaster management, the ISRO chief stated.

Attended by over 600 delegates from 35 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the recommendations by the countries would be followed up for implementation in the years ahead, Kumar added.

The space agency forum was organised jointly by ISRO, Japan's Ministry of Education, Sports, Science, Culture and Technology (MEXT) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Sustainable development goals, space policy and exploration and space technology for better governance were some of the aspects on which the countries had deliberated upon during the four-day conclave.

Heads of space agencies from countries like India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Israel, Thailand, France and Russia had participated in the forum.

The space agency heads asserted that working together through collaborations is advantageous for the countries as the resources are shared.


Published Date: Nov 17, 2017 11:12 pm | Updated Date: Nov 17, 2017 11:12 pm