Successful Launch into Space of the THEOS-2 Satellite

 

The THEOS-2 satellite, Thailand’s second earth observation satellite, was successfully launched into orbit on the morning of 9 October 2023, aboard a Vega rocket from the Guiana Space Center of the European spaceport in French Guiana.

According to a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, the Vega rocket safely reached Earth’s orbit at 09.30 hr in the presence of witnesses from Thailand and the French Republic at the spaceport, as well as people from around the world who virtually observed this remarkable moment online.

The report pointed out that the launch of THEOS-2 significantly proved the progress of concrete cooperation between Thailand and France in the areas of science, technology, and innovation, in which the leaders of Thailand and France agreed to elevate and strengthen cooperation for the benefit of two countries.

Moreover, the launch of THEOS-2 reiterates the project "Thailand-France Year of Innovation 2023", under which Thai agencies and the Royal Thai Embassy in Paris have organized a series of events throughout the year. The THEOS-2 project has also enhanced Thai-French relations and strengthened the strategic partnership.

On this occasion, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin conveyed the following congratulatory message: “On behalf of the Thai government and all Thai citizens, I would like to congratulate everyone on the successful launch of THEOS-2 satellite into orbit today, which is consistent with the Government’s emphasis on the importance of science, technology, and innovation as significant tools for the development of the country and the improvement of the people’s quality of life. The data collected by THEOS-2 will serve as a crucial foundation for the development of various areas, such as agricultural management, urban planning, natural resources and environmental management, water resource management, and disaster management, which will contribute toward the inclusive and equitable improvement of the quality of life for the Thai people. THEOS-2 is a valuable national asset capable of capturing images with a very high resolution of up to 50 centimeters per pixel, which is the best amongst ASEAN countries and comparable to the satellites of leading Earth observation nations. Furthermore, THEOS-2 is a part of the fundamental infrastructure for Thailand's science and technology sector, and a great pride of our nation. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation and the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) for their contributions toward advancement of Thailand's space sector. I have great hope that THEOS-2 will serve as another leverage in further increasing Thailand's capacity in advanced technology for the betterment of our society and the economy.”

Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation Supamas Isarabhakdi also praised the successful launch of THEOS-2 into orbit. “The successful launch of THEOS-2 into orbit is a great moment of pride for the Thai people and Thailand, and is a testament that public investment can yield tangible innovative solutions capable of addressing challenges for the people. Having such advanced technology illustrates Thailand's readiness to take its part amongst other countries in the global space industry.”

The Minister also said, “THEOS-2 is an advanced feature of space infrastructure, which is essential for the country. The data collected by THEOS-2 will be utilized to ensure that geospatial information across all regions of Thailand remains current, up-to-date, and accurate. This data will aid in the efficient management of disasters and emergency situations. THEOS-2 will also increase our capacity in natural disaster management, water management, agricultural management, urban planning, and natural resources management, which underscores the necessity of science and technology in national development and the improvement of the well-being of our people.”

Executive Director of GISTDA Dr. Pakorn Apaphant said, “I’m glad that the launch of the THEOS-2 satellite into orbit was successful. This marks Thailand's first earth observation satellite capable of very high-resolution imagery.” THEOS-2 can capture images with a resolution of up to 50 centimeters, and this enhanced capacity results in better and more precise data for timely and accurate spatial area tracking and management, which will play a significant role in supporting various aspects of the development of the country. After THEOS-2’s entry into orbit, the satellite will transition to operational mode, which includes the testing of the control system and the establishment of communication with ground control stations to ensure data stability and accuracy. This phase will last approximately 6 months, and afterwards, GISTDA will allow all sectors to access the data, which can be further developed or commercialized, which in turn will support domestic economic growth and serve as a stimulus for education, research, and innovation in the utilization of spatial data, as well as capacity building in space technology to nurture more scientists and engineers in related fields.

Dr. Pakorn also said, “This satellite launch is the continuation of our mission since THEOS-1, which has remained operational for over 15 years, and represents our commitment to develop and harness the benefits of satellite technology to further accelerate the country's Space Economy.”


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