September 25, 2023
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) (NARIT), under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI), has partnered with the Deep Space Exploration Laboratory (DSEL) of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). They have entered into an agreement to jointly conduct research and space technology, ultimately propelling the nation's space technology endeavors to new heights.
On September 25, 2023, within the People's Republic of China, Dr. Saran Poshyachinda, NARIT Executive Director and Prof. Dr. Guan Feng, Chairman of the Management Committee at the Deep Space Exploration Laboratory (DSEL) within the China National Space Administration (CNSA), formally signed an agreement to initiate a research and development partnership focused on deep space exploration technology. This collaborative effort is part of the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) project and entails joint efforts in designing and crafting mission equipment, scientific research satellites, and ancillary scientific instruments for the purpose of space exploration. The collaboration also encompasses the exchange of knowledge, sharing of experiences, and the cultivation of research skills across fields such as astrophysics and deep space engineering. These areas of cooperation span various aspects, including space exploration, space weather, data science, as well as the advancement of cutting-edge technology and engineering.
Dr. Saran Poshyachinda, Executive Director of NARIT, expressed the significance of deep space exploration technology development, underscoring its status as a front-line scientific and technological venture that enriches a nation's intellectual assets and human resources. Dr. Poshyachinda emphasized NARIT's dedication to nurturing human resources through the pursuit of challenging research frontiers, highlighting the collaboration with CNSA as a pivotal step in realizing this commitment.
Within the framework of the MoU, Thai scientists and engineers, hailing from NARIT and Mahidol University, have proposed a scientific payload for the Chang'e-7 lunar mission. This payload, named the Sino-Thai Sensor Package for Space Weather Global Monitoring, is earmarked for studying space weather phenomena between Earth and the Moon. It will undertake the measurement of cosmic rays and their influence on Earth. This innovative payload has been officially selected by the Chinese science committee for inclusion in the Chang'e-7 mission, with a launch scheduled for 2026.
Dr. Poshyachinda shed light on the critical importance of space weather—a factor in astrophysics that significantly impacts human activities and life. Notably, solar flares, which manifest when the Sun's surface undergoes eruptions, release a multitude of charged particles. These particles have the potential to disrupt satellite systems, communications infrastructure, solar energy generation, and high-voltage power grids. By delving into the study of space weather parameters and models, scientists can refine and enhance space weather warning systems, ensuring greater accuracy and preparedness.
The Thailand-China collaborative venture under the aegis of the ILRS project in deep space exploration technology represents a remarkable opportunity for Thai scientists and engineers to cultivate their advanced scientific and technological proficiencies. As they work collectively to develop space weather sensors for practical deployment in outer space, they will engage in the scrutiny of phenomena and consequences pertaining to the Sun, Earth, and the Moon. The data amassed will serve as a foundation for analysis, the formulation of fresh scientific hypotheses, and the development of precise models for public safety advisories. Additionally, the collaboration will empower them to refine space vehicle systems engineering, including the design and testing of equipment under extreme space conditions, and enable the sharing of insights and expertise in crafting equipment for future spacecraft endeavors.
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