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Thailand Becomes Ninth Country-Member of the ILRS Program

CNSA x Thailand
CNSA and Thailand representatives sign joint cooperation MoU. Credit: CNSA

Ibadan, 8 April 2024. – Thailand has become the latest country to join the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) program as the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation jointly signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU). Both countries signed an MoU on cooperation in the exploration and peaceful use of outer space and an MoU on cooperation with the International Lunar Research Station.

Participants at the signing included Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand, Zhang Kejian, Administrator of the CNSA, Supramas, Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education of Thailand, Xu Zhanbin, Deputy Administrator of the CNSA, and Peng Shu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education of Thailand, who signed the cooperation agreement on behalf of both parties. Li Guoping, chief engineer of China National Space Administration, also participated in the event.

According to the agreement, China and Thailand will establish a joint committee and a joint working group to plan and implement joint space projects, scientific exchange projects and personnel training plans, exchange data and information, and organize joint symposiums and scientific workshops to strengthen cooperation.

Furthermore, the two parties will focus on the demonstration, project implementation, operation and application of the international lunar scientific research station, organize expert teams to conduct research from the three aspects of science, engineering and international cooperation, and form a cooperation plan.

Thailand consequently becomes the ninth country to join the ILRS program. Other members include China and Russia, who formally announced the joint project in St. Petersburg, Russia, in June 2021, and Venezuela, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, South Africa and Egypt. The MoU follows 2023’s Chang’e-7 launch of Thailand’s space weather monitor as a payload aboard the Chinese mission.

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