Korea and Thailand sign deal to cooperate for feasibility study for space launch site
On February 13, the Ministry of Science and ICT (“MSIT”, Minister: Lee Jong-ho) announced that the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) of Thailand signed an Implementation Arrangement (IA) for the feasibility study of constructing a space launch site in Thailand.
This implementation arrangement is about Korea’s cooperation with Thailand in conducting a feasibility study for the construction of a space launch site in Thailand, utilizing Korea's experience and expertise accumulated during the development of its own space launch vehicles.
Korea has previously participated in Thailand's development plan for THEOS-2 earth observation satellite and has maintained a continuous collaboration with Thailand through activities such as the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) and the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). In particular, during the 73rd International Astronautical Congress last September, the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Thai government held a cooperation meeting to discuss cooperation on the feasibility study for the construction of a Thai space launch site.
In November of last year, Minister Lee Jong-ho had a bilateral meeting with Minister Anek Laothamatas of the Thai Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, to discuss the status of space development and cooperation between the two countries. During this meeting, Minister Anek explained Thailand's plans to establish a space launch site and requested Korea's support for the feasibility study.
In response to this request, an implementation arrangement was signed which outlines the scope of work for a joint feasibility study as six major fields including site selection, business model development, construction costs, launch permits and safety regulations, and operation of the launch site and facilities. After the feasibility study, it is expected that there will be opportunities for Korean space companies to expand their overseas operations.
Director-General Cho Sun-hak of the Space, Nuclear and Big Science Policy Bureau stated, "Thailand has a strong desire to develop space technology and with active government support, it is expected to soon become a major space nation in Asia. Through cooperation with Thailand, Korea will establish a foundation for space cooperation with Southeast Asian countries."