ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL SPACE AGENCY FORUM

  1. HOME
  2. Interviews & Features
  3. Interviews - 2015
  4. Indonesian remote sensing expert tackles space education to stimulate the younger generation’s interest in space activities

Indonesian remote sensing expert tackles space education to stimulate the younger generation’s interest in space activities

Mr. Agus Hidayat, Director, Cooperation and Public Relation Bureau, the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), Indonesia, participated in the 21st Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-21) in December 2014 in Tokyo. He has been involved in APRSAF-related activities in several fields for many years, and he is now in charge of space education issues as part of his public relations responsibilities. In addition, he promotes international cooperation.

At APRSAF-21, the APRSAF Secretariat conducted an interview with Mr. Hidayat, mainly regarding space education activities in Indonesia.

Secretariat

I think space education has a lot of possibilities—maybe for all generations in every country—and it is becoming more and more important to everybody. Can you explain the status in Indonesia?

Agus Hidayat

Since LAPAN joined APRSAF, I have already become involved in the space education program, even though I am not in charge of coordinating it. We are conducting lots of activities related to space education in Indonesia; right now, under the policy of LAPAN’s chairman, space education is a priority. The purpose is to encourage the younger generation to become more interested in space-related activities. Thus far, the younger generation has been more interested in entertainment, artists, and bankers; not many young people are interested in space science. That’s why we are trying to encourage them to become more interested in space science and technology and related activities.

The interest of the younger generation in space science and technology is getting better and better, and the number of students coming to LAPAN is also increasing. They are trying to understand what LAPAN is doing, and they are exploring the purpose of space science and technology for their day-to-day lives. I think the situation is improving.

Secretariat

Is there any other organization or ministry involved in space education besides LAPAN?

Agus Hidayat

Yes, besides LAPAN we have a space science museum called Pusat Peragaan IPTEC (Indonesia Science & Technology Center). Its staff is involved in helping LAPAN conduct several activities related to space education. In addition, the new chairman of LAPAN had already decided to develop space science and technology education centers in each LAPAN facility throughout the country. Indonesia is a huge, archipelagic country. We have 17,000 islands, including seven main islands. We have 13 separate LAPAN facilities throughout Indonesia—in Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Papua. We would like to build space education centers in each facility so that the younger school children don’t have to go to Jakarta to learn about space. They can just go to nearby LAPAN facilities. That’s the idea.

Secretariat

It sounds great, and in that sense, LAPAN plays a key role in space education in your country. Is that right?

Agus Hidayat

Exactly. Last year, the parliament passed a new space law. Under this law, LAPAN has a mandate to lead space-related activities in Indonesia; so, we have a legal basis right now. We have support from the parliament and government to conduct activities related to space science and technology.

Secretariat

So, you have many things to do.

Agus Hidayat

Yes, exactly. Right now, we are preparing the long-term master plan covering 25 years for the period 2015 to 2040. Actually, it is mandated by the new law.

Secretariat

I know you have worked for a long time at LAPAN in various fields; is your experience or your career useful for your current work in space education?

Agus Hidayat

Yes. Actually, space education is only one of the things that I deal with; I also deal with international cooperation and public relations activities. So, my job right now is to improve our international collaborations. To achieve LAPAN’s goals and develop our capacity in space technology, we have to collaborate with several agencies like the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), among and others. Actually, that is my main job. Other than that, I have to improve people’s awareness of space activities in Indonesia as part of my public relations responsibilities. Space education is only part of the public relations campaign, but we are using it to encourage the younger generation to become involved in space activities in Indonesia.

As to your question, my background is actually in remote sensing—the field I have been working in for more than 20 years. I have to do a lot of things right now. Being involved in so many activities in remote sensing has provided me with good experiences that are applicable to my current job as the director of the Cooperation and Public Relation Bureau.

Secretariat

I see. Similarly, regarding international cooperation, it is very useful and important for your space education including activities in the framework of APRSAF. Do you find it important?

Agus Hidayat

To improve activities related to space education, we need to have a good network regionally and internationally. I think being part of the APRSAF has been a good experience. I have a lot of friends through the APRSAF framework, so we can replicate some activities conducted by other countries like Japan, Thailand, and Korea in the Indonesian environment. I think it is very good to have international relationships so that we can apply what other countries are doing in space education activities and adapt them for Indonesia.

Secretariat

So, do you have any future plans or future cooperative efforts for space education activities?

Agus Hidayat

Well, so far we don’t have short-term plans for international cooperation in the area of space education, but we are looking at cooperation with JAXA. We would like to learn how JAXA developed its space education center. I know that JAXA has a director for this center, but in LAPAN we don’t have one yet. Space education is part of the Cooperation and Public Relation Bureau, but JAXA has a special unit focusing only on space education. We would like to learn how JAXA formed that unit. In the future, my priority is to improve the quality of LAPAN’s space education activities. Therefore, I would like to learn from JAXA.

Secretariat

Now, could you explain the Komurindo Project—your rocket project?

Agus Hidayat


Mr. Hidayat making an announcement about APRSAF-22 to be held in December 2015 in Bali, Indonesia, at the Plenary of APRSAF-21

Komurindo is a rocket payload competition that uses a rocket as a launcher, and KOMBAT uses air balloons; so, we have two competitions. The solid rocket and air balloons carry several payloads up to a certain altitude; then, they transmit data to a ground station. Actually, we have two activities related to the payload competition. Komurindo and the air balloon payload competitions are for university students. Next year, when we have APRSAF-22 in Bali, if possible we would like to have an exhibition for air balloons KOMBAT and in Komurindo to demonstrate the two activities for participants.

PAGETOP ▲

News Mails

Visit the archive of APRSAF's previous mail magazine.

News Letter

Latest issue of APRSAF News Letter
> No.26 <August 2017>