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NASA cancels plan to use U-Tapao airbase

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BANGKOK, 28 June 2012 (NNT) – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has cancelled its plan to conduct atmospheric studies at U-Tapao airbase due to the Thai government’s delayed decision to approve the project.

Spokesman of the US Embassy in Bangkok Walter Braunohler declared that NASA has withdrawn its request to use Thailand’s U-Tapao Airport for its Southeast Asia Composition, Cloud, Climate Coupling Regional Study (SEAC4RS) as the Thai government did not grant approval for the research mission in time. The project was scheduled to run from August through September.

The cabinet on Tuesday agreed to forward NASA’s proposal to Parliament for a non-voting debate after the next parliamentary session begins on August 1, missing the deadline imposed by the US space agency by 1 month.

Mr Braunohler said the embassy cannot confirm whether the project will be tabled for review by NASA again next year.

An official statement, issued on the NASA website, reads “NASA cancelled the SEAC4RS mission, which was scheduled to begin in August 2012, due to the absence of necessary approvals by regional authorities in the time frame necessary to support the mission’s planned deployment and scientific observation window.”

Read more: NNT

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