Indonesia hopes to build own satellite launch station

Yogyakarta Indonesia hopes to build its own space airport to launch rockets into outer space to place satellite in orbit in the next 20 years.

"The hope is indicated in the outer space master plan as outlined in Presidential Regulation No. 45 in 2017 to be effective until 2040," Chief Secretary of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (LAPAN) Prof Erna Sri Adiningsih said here on Tuesday.

The professor told a workshop on "Competition in Load of Rocket and Competition in Load of Atmosphere Balloon", that Indonesia is slow in the development of rocket technology. The country is still dependent on foreign technology, she added.

She said Indonesia began to develop rocket technology in the 1960s and in five decades there was not much progress has been made.

"In comparison with other developing countries such as India, Indonesia is lagging far behind," she said, adding that India began research in rocket technology not far different in time with Indonesia.

She said support and participation of other related agencies is needed to catch up with other countries in the development of the technology.

"I hope the Indonesian people would not rely only on LAPAN in the development of rockets. Other agencies from the existing industries in Indonesia should help in the development of aeronautic industry," she said.

LAPAN is eyeing the possibility of collaborating with various countries, such as India or Japan to build its first space airport and start a space program.

According to LAPAN, Morotai in North Maluku and Biak in the province of Papua are most suitable locations for the project considering the location near the Pacific Ocean

In 2012, Russias ambassador to Indonesia Alexander A. Ivanov said that Moscow had an interest in planning to develop a satellite launch station in Biak.

Currently LAPAN operates a rocket launch station in Garut, West Java, which has been active since 1965.

Source: Antara News

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