Bangladesh Astronomical Society (BAS) Wednesday demanded of the government to establish a national observatory soon to expand space research in the country, reports UNB.
"Our next-door neighbour India has made remarkable progress in space research. But we are lagging behind day by day in this sector compared to other countries of the world," said BAS General Secretary FR Sarkar at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.
He said there is no separate ministry for space research in the country. The Science and ICT Ministry does not work on space issues, it is busy with only ICT.
He urged the government to create a separate division for space research under the Science Ministry to monitor different programmes related to space affairs in the country.
Sarkar emphasised on applying for the membership of 'United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (UN.COPUOS)' and forming a 'Bangladesh Space Agency' to mobilise space research and maintain contact with different countries in this field.
He mentioned that some 67 countries, including poor ones like Niger and Benin got membership of UN.COPUOS. "It is quite shameful that Bangladesh has not yet applied for the membership," he said.
Sarker said countries, which made huge progress in space research, are planning to start sending people on the Moon by 2020 and settling there by 2025.
"These countries are also planning to start sending people on the Mars by 2035 and settling there by 2050… space tourism is going to be a profitable business within a few years," he said.
He added that Bangladesh must involve itself with these space activities. Otherwise, it will lag behind in space research, as it is already experiencing in the ICT sector. BAS treasurer Mobarak Ali Akand said the UN has announced 2007 as the 'World Space Year' marking the 50th anniversary of launching the first spacecraft 'Sputnik' on space by the Russians.
He emphasised on observing the 'World Space Year' in Bangladesh and to take effective measures to implement the 'Asia-Pacific Ocean Space Cooperation Agreement'.