LAPAN to build small space station in Biak, Papua

LAPAN to build small space station in Biak, Papua
Illustration of rocket launching. (SpaceX on Unsplash)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Small and concrete steps to enable Indonesia  to participate in the exploration of the outer space has been made by the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN).

The small step that is expected to be realized in the near future is to build a small-scale space station on Biak Island in Indonesia’s province of Papua.

Head of LAPAN Prof. Thomas Djamaluddin in the opening of the National Coordination Meeting on “Small Space Station Development Plan on Biak Island” said that the construction of the station is a mandate of Law No.21 of 2013 concerning space and Presidential Regulation No.45 of 2017 about the Master Plan on Space Management 2016- 2040, it was quoted from the LAPAN website by Indonesia Window here, Saturday.

With this legal basis, the LAPAN program on launching space facilities to orbit satellites becomes clearer.

Previously, LAPAN had conducted studies in several potential locations for space stations, namely Enggano Island (Bengkulu), Nias Island (North Sumatra), Morotai Island (North Maluku), and Biak Island (Papua).

The results of the studies show locations that meet technical requirements as  places to build space stations, and one of which is Biak Island in Soukobye Village, Biak Numfor Regency, Papua Province.

Biak Island has the advantage of being close to the equator at coordinates 0⁰55⁰-1⁰27⁰ South Latitude and 134⁰47⁰-136⁰48⁰ East Longitude.

The position is very good as a launching point for Satellite Rocket Launchers (RPS) to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) so that it will save the use of rocket fuel during launch.

The Head of LAPAN hopes that the small-scale space station which is 100 hectares wide or measuring one square kilometer is expected to be operational as of 2024 for flying test activities of launching small rockets.

In the LAPAN Antarctic Master Plan, the institute is expected to be able to make a satellite and launch it with its own rocket facilities from Indonesia in 2040 or before 100 years of Indonesia’s independence.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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