Indonesia and China to Strengthen Cooperation, Build Launch Site

Photo courtesy of LAPAN.

Yesterday, Indonesia’s space agency LAPAN announced the completion of bilateral meetings with China. Among the topics discussed was the building of a launch site in Indonesia that would cater to the national and commercial space interests of both nations, including conducting frequent test launches.

Held at the Manggala Meeting Room in LAPAN’s headquarters in Jakarta, the meeting began with a keynote address by LAPAN Head Prof. Thomas Djamaluddin. Participants included representatives from LAPAN and related organizations, as well as from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), and China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).

The meetings focused on the implementation and execution of previous agreements, as well as a widening of scope of activities. Along with the launch site, the two nations decided that Indonesia’s LAPAN-A4 satellite would piggyback on a Chinese launch in the year 2019.

Other areas of cooperation discussed included earth observation, remote sensing, satellite instruments, sounding rockets, and training.

LAPAN and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) began their relationship in October 2013, when both parties discussed the use of space for peaceful means. Later on, in March 2015, the two agencies signed an aerospace agreement containing a broad outline of possible collaboration.

This news comes concurrently with the signing of a commercial agreement between satellite operator PT Palapa Satelit Nusa Sejahtera and CGWIC to build and launch Palapa-N1, a high-throughput Ku-band satellite.

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