Malaysia lays out its national space strategy, focusing on the creation of remote-sensing satellites

Malaysia is working on a national space roadmap to help the country’s space industry thrive, particularly in the areas of remote sensing satellites, satellite components, and data-driven downstream services. During a parliamentary hearing on December 13, a deputy minister provided the most recent update on Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation’s “Malaysia Space Exploration 2030” blueprint.

Datuk Ahmad Amzad Hashim, the deputy minister in charge of the project, stated the blueprint provides a 10-year strategy that is consistent with Malaysia’s National Space Policy 2030. The policy, which was enacted in 2017, acknowledges the relevance of space technologies for a country’s economic development and national security.

The National Space Policy 2030 emphasizes the need of gaining access to space capabilities in order to improve people’s lives and national security. It will also serve as a guide for identifying the future paths of Malaysia’s space sector development, including how to best employ space capabilities, align objectives and commitments in this field strategically, and provide the necessary resources to achieve the greatest results. The government acknowledged that space activities, particularly remote sensing, satellite communication, and navigation applications, have immediate economic and societal implications.

While Ahmad Amzad did not specify when the finalized plan will be released, he did indicate that one of its main goals is to enable Malaysia to develop its remote sensing satellites. According to a local media report, Ahmad Amzad remarked, “This project will be executed via a public partnership that is targeted at generating opportunities for tactical cooperation between the government as well as a local business in the development of locally-built satellite technology.”

He predicted that this program will spur the development of the satellite component manufacturing business and also a satellite data-propelled downstream sector. The government has developed “advanced space technology infrastructure” that meets international standards, according to Ahmad Amzad, including satellite integration, installation, and testing amenities, a satellite mission control center in Banting, as well as the remote sensing satellite ground facility in Temerloh.

Malaysia will strive to establish memorandums of understanding with “agencies of excellence in developed nations in the realm of space technology” to strengthen international cooperation, he said. These memorandums of understanding, he said, would help “enhance the country’s capabilities in commercialization, research, development, and innovation via the transfer of sophisticated space-related technologies like satellite technology, antenna systems, launchers, and artificial intelligence systems associated with big data processing for competence advancement in the local industrial sector.”

Malaysia’s government anticipates that by 2030, the country’s space sector will contribute 0.3% of the GDP and engage 500 knowledge workers, according to a statement made to the United Nations (UN) in October 2020. To increase the efficiency of providing government solutions in the space sector, the Malaysian Space Agency was formed in December 2019 by integrating the National Space Agency (ANGKASA) as well as the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MYSA).

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