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Contribution of Space Education in Deep Technological Development of Middle-income Countries: A Case Study of MOOC in Thailand
1 , 2 , * 2, 3
1  Finland Futures Research Center, Turku university
2  Space Zab Company Limited
3  Institute of Bio-inspired Structure and Surface Engineering, College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Academic Editor: Soemsak Yooyen (registering DOI)

Innovation enhancement strategies in middle-income countries are usually limited by several challenges including knowledge attainment, business opportunities, and information infrastructure. These limitations seem to explain the situation in Thai space technological development as well. The country has not been able to concretize any space-oriented innovation, regardless of the fact that the National Astronomical Research Institute has the vision to be a world-renowned organization in astronomy, technology, and innovation. This research investigated the struggles of Thailand in the space economy as a case study of deep technological development in middle-income states. With the rise of telecommunication that facilitates distance learning, the study utilized online-class as a method to eliminate the limitation of insufficient knowledge and further investigate other constraints. The findings indicate that online lessons effectively respond to the lack of space-related knowledge. Additionally, a financial concern of having hands-on experiences in deep technology is diminished by the curricular design that is built from the understanding of local context. However, online learning addresses a new communication issue. The absence of a communication platform that leads to a low rate of peer discussion, especially after lessons, becomes the main obstacle to nourish R & D. The study suggests that communication infrastructure is a key element to instigate inspiration and implementation of knowledge in practice. This can be mutually supported by course-content providers and state authorities.

Keywords: Innovation enhancement in developing countries; Space economy; Distance learning; Space education