The Japanese space agency JAXA finds itself in a difficult situation – it cannot decide what to do with a pair of 50-kilogram satellites. Both spacecraft now simply occupy a useful place in the cramped space on board the ISS, but it is impossible to get rid of them or use them for their intended purpose. The fact is that these satellites were created for Myanmar, in which what was officially called a “military coup” happened a month ago.
Formally, the satellites are for purely peaceful purposes: one is intended for monitoring agricultural land, the other for the fishing industry. However, their high-resolution cameras are also very useful for military purposes. Most countries in the world, including Japan, have called the coup in Myanmar illegal and refuse to recognize the new government. This means that it is also impossible to launch satellites that the rebel military can gain access to.
The situation is complicated by the fact that JAXA still cannot get in touch with colleagues from the Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University. Their fates are unknown, the future of the project is uncertain. Initially, it was planned that the devices built by the Japanese would be serviced by specialists from the University of Hokkaido, through whose servers all the collected information would go. Myanmar acts only as a customer for the service, and technically there is no problem with filtering content so as not to provide assistance to the military, directly or indirectly. But JAXA decided to play it safe and are waiting for news from the revolution covered countries.