NASA pulls out of project
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has decided not to continue its cooperation with Thai authorities in a research project to study climate conditions in Thailand, the US ambassador to Thailand said.Ambassador Kristie Kenney confirmed yesterday that Nasa had decided to move the "Southeast Asia Composition, Cloud, Climate Coupling Regional Study" to another Southeast Asian nation.
"We have no plans for Nasa to work in Thailand at this time. This project was moved to another country and is already completed," she said.
"We can't say which country, but this year we have no plan for Nasa to work in Thailand," she said, adding that the US would be happy to collaborate with Thailand in the future.
Previously, Nasa had proposed that the U-t apao naval airbase be used as its research headquarters to study weather conditions in Thailand, but the Cabinet was unable to endorse its request by June last year and it ran out of time to make logistical preparations.
It was believed the project would help Thailand improve the knowledge and understanding of climate conditions in the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Science Minister Woravat Auapinyakul said the government would comply with Nasa's decision to end its cooperation over climate research.
Worawat will also lead senior officials to the US later this month to sign a cooperation pact. He is scheduled to meet scientist Hal Maring and Matthew Koeppe from Nasa's Office of International and Inter-agency Relations on March 12.
He said he would wait and see if the US space agency wanted to change its decision. "I cannot say right now whether we will allow the US space agency to use our skies to conduct its research after it decided to set up base in another country,"