Myanmar will soon be a space nation after deciding to join hands with other space countries to ensure that millions of people are safe from environmental disasters. To do saw, it aims to launch a satellite which will be the first one for them. It will be among the satellite constellation comprising of microsatellites from up to nine Asian countries. The satellites will provide data on disease outbreaks, grounds of crops, and also land use. In addition to that, they will monitor water flows, seismic activity, and typhoons.
It is the last country in the list of participants based on how economically developed they are. Other parties of the consortium are from the likes of Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Their goal is to ensure that a day will come when they will be in control of 50 devices in orbit. To achieve that, they plan to be launching about five satellites annually. They will be micro with a weight of 100 Kg and longevity of five years. Since money is necessary, if one wants to achieve this, Myanmar will be contributing $16 million and won’t deal with astronomical needs. The country will also contribute more, and the total figure will not be less than $100 million for the satellites. However, it is willing to pay that much because it believes that it is worth it.
The launch will not take place in Myanmar, but the country is the main player to the extent that it has a ground control center with the help of Japan. According to Takahashi, the likes of Mongolia, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Malaysia also plans to join the team soon.
It shows that teamwork and new technologies are making it easy for any country to be a space nation. So, this venture is no longer for the mighty like China, Russia, and the US only.
For the last several months now, there are seven aerospace engineers from Myanmar who are more than ready to leave for Japan to carry out a pre-launch development. The worst part about it is the fact that the wait continues to be indefinite due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to the closure of most international boundaries. Only time will tell what they will do eventually since time is of the essence, given the fact that the launch is planned for early 2021.
Engineer Thu Thu Aung who is now 40, says that she started dreaming about this day a long time ago when she was still a girl. She also expresses her excitement because being part of this project that will see the dream of sending a satellite to space from Myanmar and more so one of its university come true.