The successful launch of the THEOS-2 satellite into orbit on October 9, 2023, marks a significant milestone in the thriving collaboration between Thailand and France in the fields of science, technology, and innovation. The satellite, named THEOS-2, was launched aboard a Vega rocket (VV23) from the Guiana Space Center at the European spaceport in French Guiana. This remarkable achievement has garnered global attention, as witnesses from Thailand, the French Republic, and viewers from around the world virtually observed this historic moment.
The launch of THEOS-2 exemplifies the concrete cooperation between Thailand and France, reflecting their mutual commitment to elevate and strengthen collaboration for the benefit of both nations. Under the framework of the “Thailand-France Year of Innovation 2023” project, Thai agencies, and the Royal Thai Embassy in Paris, have organized a series of events throughout the year, solidifying the foundation for a strategic partnership in the realm of space exploration.
Mr. Srettha Thavisin, the Prime Minister of Thailand, expressed his hearty congratulations and emphasized the pivotal role that THEOS-2 will play in various aspects of national development. He noted that the satellite’s ability to capture images with a resolution of up to 50 centimeters per pixel positions it as the leading Earth Observation satellite among ASEAN countries, making it a valuable asset for Thailand.
Ms. Supamas Isarabhakdi, Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI), also extended her congratulations, underlining the importance of public investment in innovative solutions that address the nation’s challenges.
Minister Isarabhakdi emphasized the critical role that THEOS-2 will play in providing up-to-date geospatial information for disaster management, natural resource management, and other critical applications, while highlighting Thailand’s readiness to play a prominent role in the global space industry.
Dr. Pakorn Apaphant, Executive Director of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), praised the success of the satellite launch and its potential impact on Thailand’s development. He underlined that THEOS-2’s high-resolution imagery capabilities will provide better and more precise data, which is essential for various aspects of national development.
Following its entry into orbit, THEOS-2 will transition to operational mode, where it will undergo system testing and establish communication with ground control stations to ensure data stability and accuracy. This phase is expected to last approximately six months, after which data from THEOS-2 will be made accessible to various sectors, fostering economic growth and supporting education, research, and innovation in spatial data utilization.
Dr. Apaphant emphasized that this satellite launch represents a continuation of Thailand’s mission since THEOS-1, which has remained operational for over 15 years, and highlights the nation’s commitment to developing and harnessing the benefits of satellite technology to accelerate the country’s Space Economy.
The successful launch of THEOS-2 is a testament to the profound impact of international collaboration in space technology. This achievement is set to play a pivotal role in national development and further expand the frontiers of global space exploration.