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JAXA delegation visits AIT, delineates new mid-term plan

A delegation from the Japan Aerospace Explortion Agency (JAXA) led by Dr. Hideshi Kozawa, Executive Advisor to the JAXA President, visited the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and explored various aspects of international cooperation and business. Meeting AIT’s Interim President Prof. Worsak Kanok Nukulchai on 9 September 2013, Dr. Kozawa outlined JAXA’s mid-term plan, which has been activated from 1 April 2013.

Dr. Kozawa stated that the new plan includes launch of earth exploration and space science satellites. The Epsilon Launch Vehicle carrying a small scientific satellite called SPRINT-A will be launched in September 2013. Other launches scheduled for 2013 include Land Observing Radar and Precipitation Radar.

JAXA continues with its policy of maintaining autonomy of its space program and enhancing space utilization, while concentrating on three subjects – national security and disaster management; industrial development; and space sciences, Dr. Kozawa said.

The Agency also plans to launch GOSAT-2 for measurement of Greenhouse Gases. GOSAT is the only satellite that monitors carbon dioxide density distribution in the world. Another target launch is Hayabusa-2, which is an asteroid explorer. Hayabusa-1 had earlier achieved the distinction of being the only satellite that brought asteroid particles back to earth.

Welcoming the delegation, Prof. Worsak thanked JAXA for its consistent support to AIT. The Interim President mentioned how through the support from the Government of Japan, and due to the efforts of Prof. Shunji Murai, AIT was able to establish the Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing field of study at AIT. He suggested that JAXA and AIT could jointly reach out to experts and scholars from the entire region and utilize AIT as a neutral networking platform. Stating that AIT has a strong network in the field of civil engineering, Prof. Worsak proposed that both AIT and JAXA can work towards creating a similar strong network in the field of space exploration, GIS and Remote Sensing.

Dr. Lal Samarakoon, Director, Geoinformatics Center, AIT, stated that they have been in consultation with JAXA on developing new business. AIT has expertise in many areas, and we will explore this with JAXA, he added.

Dr. Kozawa also thanked AIT for accepting Dr. Shinichi Nakamura as a visiting faculty member from JAXA. Mr. Masanobu Tsuji, Manager for International Cooperation Promotion, accompanied Dr. Kozawa. Also attending the meeting on behalf of AIT were Dr. Masahiko Nagai, visiting faculty from Japan; Mr. Ahmed Amjad Ali, Head, External Relations and Communications Office (ERCO); and Ms. Sumana Shrestha, Program Officer, ERCO.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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