11 July 2024

The launch of Thailand’s second Earth observation satellite, THEOS-2, scheduled at 8.36am (UTC +7) this morning (Saturday), was abruptly postponed after a “red” status warning appeared.

Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations Supamas Isarabhakdi said today that the Arianespace centre in South America had called the postponement 14 seconds before lift-off, after the safety system detected a voltage above the safety threshold.

Officials at the centre have been investigating the problem and the results of the findings are expected tomorrow, after which the launch date will be rescheduled.

The Geo-informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GITSDA), meanwhile, said that postponements of satellites launches are normal, as safety is the top priority and everything must be fine before launch.

Operated by GITSDA, THEOS-2 is capable of capturing detailed colour images of Earth with a resolution of up to 50cm. The satellite will transmit data, covering about 74,000 square kilometres per day, to a ground station, providing current, but not real time, accurate information for various sectors in Thailand.

The data will have significant applications in emergency response, agriculture, water management, disaster management, urban planning and natural resource management.