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Asia Minute: Asian Players Team Up for Satellite Launches

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A pair of Asian countries teamed up for a successful satellite launch this week. The project involved a launch from India, and half a dozen satellites from Singapore. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The headlines from Singapore focus on the satellites.  The news from India concentrates on the space vehicle that propelled them into orbit.  Together, they’re a reminder of a fast-growing global business partially anchored in the Asia Pacific: satellite launches.

The non-profit Space Foundation estimates what it calls the global space economy has nearly doubled over the past decade---to 330-billion dollars.  About three-quarters of that is commercial space activity, including satellite launches.

The Straits Times reports Singapore’s new satellites will be used to monitor natural disasters…and conduct “border and maritime surveillance.”  The paper reports the TeLEOS-1 model is the first commercial earth observation satellite to be made in Singapore.  The Economic Times says that over the past six months, India has launched nearly a dozen satellites of other countries….including the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Indonesia.

Early last month, Hawai‘i’s first attempted satellite launch failed on Kaua‘i…but partners including the University of Hawai‘i still have hopes for future operations.  Late last month, Japan successfully launched its first commercial satellite.  And the satellite launch business continues to grow.  The website Space Flight Now reports half a dozen launches are scheduled before the end of the year.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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