The day dawned hot and partly cloudy in Singapore, where Spaceflight is currently attending the Global Space & Technology Convention. This year’s conference theme is “Advancing the Asian Space Hub.” An excellent introduction to the theme was presented in the “Asia Pacific’s Needs in Space” panel, which featured representatives from Asian space agencies and industry.
As always, we focused on the topic of small satellites, taking detailed notes as soon as a new Earth observation satellite was mentioned. Singapore (ST Electronics) introduced an upcoming small satellite, the TeLEOS-1, with a short video. The not-so-small sat is 400 kg and has a resolution of 1m. Other countries also mentioned small satellite programs; Indonesia, in particular, introduced how a progression of small satellite designs (LAPAN-A) will advance the country’s space program. Representatives from Vietnam and Japan also mentioned slightly-larger satellites in the 500-700 kg range that are currently in development.
We’re also excited because there is such a strong interest in developing small satellites as a way to develop and enhance space programs. One presenter mentioned that nearly 900 satellites (large and small) are anticipated to launch in the next decade. It’s simply fun to part of an industry that anticipates such growth over the next few years.