In reports emerging from the south east Asian nation, authorities in Meiktila have announced that Myanmar is getting ready to launch its first ever satellite into orbit.
Supposedly part of a group of nations in the region and elsewhere aiming at protecting itself from environmental disaster, the so-called “super constellation” of nine nations in Asia will use the technology primarily to monitor weather patterns.
The tracking of typhoons, and seasonal water flow in some of the regions rivers as well as offshore is of paramount importance to local governments looking to best utilize crop yields in times of environmental change.
The ‘group of nine’ nations is also said to include Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
“It’s simply less expensive if we build our own satellite,” Kyi Thwin of Myanmar’s Aerospace Engineering University told AFP reporters inside his university’s headquarters near Meiktila, 140 north of the nation’s capital, adding that it will help the economy of Myanmar “leap-frog forward”, albeit in a reportedly problematic local ‘space center’ shaped like a space shuttle missing its nose: the roof of the nose area having been blown away by strong winds, and still in disrepair for lack of funds to replace it.
In real terms, however, the project is led by a team from Japan, with Yukihiro Takahashi of the prestigious Hokkaido University, one of two Japanese facilities helping to lead the project; the Japanese team using Nigeria as an example of another low profile ‘space-race nation’ which has in recent years become a regional hub at which space satellite technology is produced at lower rates than elsewhere in the world.