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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        21  April 2011

Singapore satellite launched

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Singapore's first locally built satellite has officially been launched into space.

Riding on a rocket owned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), the micro-satellite X-Sat blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India yesterday, more than four years late. The 105kg fridge-size satellite, which will be used to take photographs to measure soil erosion and environmental changes on earth, was one of three riding on Isro's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16). The other two were built by India and Russia.

Yesterday's launch, at 12.42 p.m. Singapore time, was PSLV's 18th successful lift-off since its maiden flight in 1994. Only two launches have failed.

X-Sat is designed and built from scratch by scientists and engineers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore's defence research body DSO National Laboratories.

Now in orbit, X-Sat is establishing communication contact with ground control in NTU, a process likely to take up to a week. Once contact has been made, an “initial health status of the satellite will be ascertained and confirmed,” said an NTU spokesman.

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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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