‘mu Space’ to push Thai space industry, planning to build its first spaceship in 2021
2020 saw an uptick in activity from the space economy due to the Thai government pushing for space-activity-related legislation and creating mechanisms to promote and support both the government and the private sector to develop the space industry together, which is one of the target industries in the new S-curve that will increase Thailand’s investment capacity and its role in developing the space industry and ultimately add value to the Thai economy.
The private sector also plays an important role in developing the economy and stimulating investment in the space industry. This year, mu Space and Advanced Technology Public Company Limited (mu Space Corp.), a 3-year-old private satellite and space technologies firm, was able to attract investors from several industries and businesses to invest in the space industry, such as TOT Public Company Limited, executives from Dow Chemical Group, SCG, as well as the current investors, including Nice Apparel Group -- a global leading athlete apparel maker --, B.Grimm Group, Majuven Fund, private business group, and a group of other minor investors i.e. executives from the UCLA Foundation. The value of ‘mu Space’ has increased to more than $100 million. through a Series B fundraising.
‘mu Space’ CEO, Varayuth Yenbamroong, on December 25th, 2020, stated during a soft opening event of the first spaceship factory in Thailand that “the fund recently raised will be used to quickly build a large-scale factory to produce and assemble the first spaceship of Thailand, along with satellite parts and commercial spaceships for domestic affairs, communications, national security such as creating a locally made GPS (Global Positioning System), robotic testing, autonomous system testing for unmanned vehicles to be used on the Moon mission. The factory will be equipped with the 5G communication system. It will also serve as a platform to develop Space IDC technologies, with a plan to test them in the first quarter of 2021.
“Space IDC” or Space Internet Data Center services is a project jointly created by ‘mu Space’ Corp. and TOT Public Company Limited, that aims at providing a data center service with a server being located in outer space.
“mu Space’ is planning to build 11 gateway stations initially in Bangkok to operate the upcoming Low Earth Orbit Satellite (LEO), while preparing to propose up to 8 projects from US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the beginning of 2021. ‘mu Space’ has collected a lot of experience and has grown significantly from submitting 7 space technology development projects with its Tipping Point Solicitation Project passing the first hearing. There is a good chance that ‘mu Space’ will be awarded with the project contract.” said Varayuth.
Despite the presence of COVID-19 pandemic, ‘mu Space’ is planning to hire about 100 positions, beginning with the first 50 positions beginning in Q1 2021 to create skilled laborers, in line with the national space technology and industry development plan. This is a good news for Thailand to have private space companies and the new generation who have the determination to develop technologies and innovations to tangibly push the local space industry to become Thailand’s New Economy.