Singapore's leap into the space industry

SINGAPORE - Singapore announced a new push into another potentially lucrative economic sector on Thursday - this time setting its sights as far as outer space.

The Government will set up a new office to research and develop the futuristic space industry, particularly the manufacture and launch of satellites.

Called the Office for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn), it will also work with universities to develop the talent pool for the industry, help satellite companies grow their business here and collaborate with other countries' space agencies.

Two Singapore companies also announced ambitious new plans for Singapore's fledgling space programme.

ST Electronics, an arm of mainboard listed ST Engineering, said it has started the design and development of the first made- in-Singapore commercial satellite.

Images from the satellite, to be launched in 2015, could be used for disaster and environmental monitoring, agriculture, resource exploration and maritime observation and security.

Meanwhile, local technology firm IN.Genius outlined plans to send the first Singaporean into space on National Day 2015.

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