Philippines' DOST - Craft BILL- Space Agency for Billion Dollars Spaceship, Rockets

Galactic Pinoy? Scientists push for independent  Philippines Space Agency (PSA)

We've yet to see the first Pinoy astronaut in space, though plans toward this goal have been in the works since the 1990s. In the meantime, scientists and astronomy advocates recently joined efforts to push for the establishment of our very own space agency.

Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) Balik Scientist Dr. Custer Deocaris, organized a press briefing at Annabel's Restaurant in Quezon City on Dec. 14.

Deocaris believes that, since the government has now increased its funding for the DOST, citing initiatives like Project NOAH and DREAM Project, it's high time that the goverment should invest in an independent space agency, like NASA.

"Kung hindi ngayon, mahihirapan na tayong iangat ang Philippine Space Agency," said Deocaris.

The proposed space agency intends to conduct studies on space science and technologies, design, and develop satellites that will be launched in space, and possibly train astronauts, according to the draft bill on the  Philippine Space Agency.

In Southeast Asia, at least five countries have their own space agencies like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. See the list of countries with Space Agencies

But Dr. Edgardo Aban of the University of Brunei Darussalam said during the press conference that the initiative for space studies in the Philippines started way back in the '90s.

"One of our landmark achievements [is the] 1995-1996 partnership project with NASA. We had a synthetic altitude radar that aim to map portions of the Philippines using radar."

By 2005, Aban was also a part of a team that studied the space technologies and application capabilities of the Philippines in terms of human resource, technology and infrastructure.

However, as Aban recalled, those moves turned out to be unsuccessful.

Deocaris also said that his group sent AGHAM Party List representative Angelo Palmones the draft bill.

"We should not forget that most of today's modern conveniences (cellphone, internet, cloud computing, etc.) are spin-offs from investments in space technology," Deocaris wrote in his letter to the congressman.

"[The] time has now come to open the possibility of creating an ambitious but doable dream: a space program for Filipinos," he added.

Meanwhile, Aban estimated that a Pinoy space agency would cost at least $1 billion (P41 billion)( http://is.gd/JYX3DT)

GMA News

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