Space Program of Burma

------The Burmese Space Agency------

Level = 0                                         Development: Very Low


Country Overview

What has been going on in Burma?



Space Agency and its Activity

What kind of space power do they have?



Weapons and Power Projection

Does Burma have space weapons?



Timeline and the Future

What are they planning over there?

Population: 51,000,000 / Language: Burmese / GDP: $1800 / Cities: Rangoon (Yangon)

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   Burma, also known as Myanmar, is ruled by a military junta which suppresses almost all dissent and

wields absolute power in the face of international condemnation and sanctions.

The generals and the army stand accused of gross human rights abuses, including the forcible relocation of civilians and the widespread use of forced labour, which includes children.


Prominent pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, has had various restrictions placed on her activities since the late 1980s. In 1990 her party, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide victory in Burma's first multi-party elections for 30 years, but has never been allowed to govern.


  • Politics: Burma has been under military rule since 1962; the regime stifles almost all dissent
  • Economy: Burma is one of Asia's poorest countries; its economy is riddled with corruption
  • International: Burma is seen as a pariah state by the West, which maintains sanctions; China is its main ally

Military-run enterprises control key industries, and corruption and severe mismanagement are the hallmarks of a black-market-riven economy.

The armed forces - and former rebels co-opted by the government - have been accused of large-scale trafficking in heroin, of which Burma is a major exporter. Prostitution and HIV/Aids are major problems.

The largest group is the Burman people, who are ethnically related to the Tibetans and the Chinese. Burman dominance over Karen, Shan, Rakhine, Mon, Chin, Kachin and other minorities has been the source of considerable ethnic tension and has fuelled intermittent separatist rebellions. Military offensives against insurgents have uprooted many thousands of civilians.

A largely rural, densely forested country, Burma is the world's largest exporter of teak and is a principal source of jade, pearls, rubies and sapphires. It is endowed with extremely fertile soil and has important offshore oil and gas deposits. However, its people remain very poor and are getting poorer.

The country is festooned with the symbols of Buddhism. Thousands of pagodas throng its ancient towns; these have been a focus for an increasingly important tourism industry. But while tourism has been a magnet for foreign investment, its benefits have hardly touched the people.


  • Official name: Union of Myanmar
  • Population: 50.7 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Seat of government moving to Naypyidaw, also known as Pyinmana, from Rangoon (Yangon)
  • Area: 676,552 sq km (261,218 sq miles)
  • Major languages: Burmese, indigenous ethnic languages
  • Major religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam
  • Life expectancy: 57 years (men), 63 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 kyat = 100 pyas
  • Main exports: Teak, pulses and beans, prawns, fish, rice, opiates
  • GNI per capita: not available
  • Internet domain: .mm
  • International dialling code: +95

Head of state: Than Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)

Senior General Than Shwe is the country's top military leader and heads the SPDC, the body of 12 senior generals that oversees the running of the country and makes the key decisions.

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 Burma's Space Infrastructure



Burma is troubled by the ongoing insurgency throughout the country against the occupation of it by American forces. Its space program is not suprisingly, nonexistent. Not only does it not have an agency, but also not much of an infrastructure in which one would arise. The Myanmar Ministry of Science and Technology acts as a research faculty. There are no universities which offer a degree in engineering or other space related educational architecture, such as astrophysics, astronomy, astronautics or aeronautics. It focuses mostly on agriculture in this rural, mountainous country. The government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.

Burma has no history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has launch capability.

Burma lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it. It has no functioning university with an astrophysics or astronautics program, and marginal industry.

Burma operates no satellites and, not having an orbital presence, has no space power.

The government of Burma in Rangoon has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research, but may once things stabilize, if they ever do. 


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Timeline of Events in Burma

...From the Past to the Future

 1057 - King Anawrahta founds the first unified Burmese state at Pagan and adopts Theravada Buddhism.

Shwedagon Pagoda: Burma's key religious site

  • Said to date back 2,500 years
  • Restored in 1998
  • Jewellery donated for gold roof

1287 - Mongols under Kublai Khan conquer Pagan.

1531 - Toungoo dynasty, with Portuguese help, reunites Burma.

1755 - Alaungpaya founds the Konbaung dynasty.

1824-26 - First Anglo-Burmese war ends with the Treaty of Yandabo, according to which Burma ceded the Arakan coastal strip, between Chittagong and Cape Negrais, to British India.

1852 - Britain annexes lower Burma, including Rangoon, following the second Anglo-Burmese war.

1885-86 - Britain captures Mandalay after a brief battle; Burma becomes a province of British India.

1937 - Britain separates Burma from India and makes it a crown colony.

Japanese occupation

1942 - Japan invades and occupies Burma with some help from the Japanese-trained Burma Independence Army, which later transforms itself into the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL) and resists Japanese rule.

1945 - Britain liberates Burma from Japanese occupation with help from the AFPFL, led by Aung San.

1947 - Aung San and six members of his interim government assassinated by political opponents led by U Saw, a nationalist rival of Aung San's. U Nu, foreign minister in Ba Maw's government, which ruled Burma during the Japanese occupation, asked to head the AFPFL and the government.


1948 - Burma becomes independent with U Nu as prime minister.

The Irrawaddy: backbone of Burma's rice trade

  • 2,170 km (1,350 miles) long
  • Commercially navigable for 1,300 km (800 miles)

Mid-1950s - U Nu, together with Indian Prime Minister Nehru, Indonesian President Sukarno, Yugoslav President Tito and Egyptian President Nasser co-found the Movement of Non-Aligned States.

1958-60 - Caretaker government, led by army Chief of Staff General Ne Win, formed following a split in the ruling AFPFL party.

1960 - U Nu's party faction wins decisive victory in elections, but his promotion of Buddhism as the state religion and his tolerance of separatism angers the military.

One-party, military-led state

1962 - U Nu's faction ousted in military coup led by Gen Ne Win, who abolishes the federal system and inaugurates "the Burmese Way to Socialism"- nationalising the economy, forming a single-party state with the Socialist Programme Party as the sole political party, and banning independent newspapers.

Ne Win crushed dissent, propelled Burma into isolation

1974 - New constitution comes into effect, transferring power from the armed forces to a People's Assembly headed by Ne Win and other former military leaders; body of former United Nations secretary-general U Thant returned to Burma for burial.

1975 - Opposition National Democratic Front formed by regionally-based minority groups, who mounted guerrilla insurgencies.

1981 - Ne Win relinquishes the presidency to San Yu, a retired general, but continues as chairman of the ruling Socialist Programme Party.

1982 - Law designating people of non-indigenous background as "associate citizens" in effect bars such people from public office.

1987 - Currency devaluation wipes out many people's savings and triggers anti-government riots.

1988 - Thousands of people are killed in anti-government riots. The State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) is formed.

1989 - Slorc declares martial law, arrests thousands of people, including advocates of democracy and human rights, renames Burma Myanmar, with the capital, Rangoon, becoming Yangon. NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of Aung San, is put under house arrest.

Thwarted elections

1990 - Opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) wins landslide victory in general election, but the result is ignored by the military.

1991 - Aung San Suu Kyi awarded Nobel Peace Prize for her commitment to peaceful change.

1992 - Than Shwe replaces Saw Maung as Slorc chairman, prime minister and defence minister. Several political prisoners freed in bid to improve Burma's international image.

1995 - Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest after six years.

1996 - Aung San Suu Kyi attends first NLD congress since her release; Slorc arrests more than 200 delegates on their way to party congress.

1997 - Burma admitted to Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean); Slorc renamed State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

Release of pro-democracy supporters

1998 - 300 NLD members released from prison; ruling council refuses to comply with NLD deadline for convening of parliament; student demonstrations broken up.

1999 - Aung San Suu Kyi rejects ruling council conditions to visit her British husband, Michael Aris, who dies of cancer in UK.

2000 September - Ruling council lifts restrictions on movements of Aung San Suu Kyi and senior NLD members.

2000 October - Aung San Suu Kyi begins secret talks with ruling council.

2001 Ruling council releases some 200 pro-democracy activists. Government says releases reflect progress in talks with opposition NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi who remains under house arrest.

2001 February - Burmese army, Shan rebels clash on Thai border.

Improving border relations

2001 June - Thai Prime Minister Shinawatra visits, says relations are back on track.

2001 September - Intelligence chief Khin Nyunt visits Thailand. Burma pledges to eliminate drugs trade in the Golden Triangle by 2005.

2001 November - Chinese President Jiang Zemin visits, issues statement supporting government, reportedly urges economic reform.

Conflicting signals

2002 May - Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi released after nearly 20 months of house arrest.

2003 May - Aung San Suu Kyi taken into "protective custody" after clashes between her supporters and those of government.

2003 August - Khin Nyunt becomes prime minister. He proposes to hold convention in 2004 on drafting new constitution as part of "road map" to democracy.

2003 November - Five senior NLD leaders released from house arrest after visit of UN human rights envoy.

2004 January - Government and Karen National Union - most significant ethnic group fighting government - agree to end hostilities.

2004 May - Constitutional convention begins, despite boycott by National League for Democracy (NLD) whose leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest. The convention adjourns in July.

Prime minister ousted

2004 October - Khin Nyunt is replaced as prime minister amid reports of a power struggle. He is placed under house arrest.

Pyinmana: New capital is in a remote region

2006: Burma's confusion over capital
2004 November - Leading dissidents are freed as part of a release of thousands of prisoners, including Min Ko Naing, who led the 1988 pro-democracy student demonstrations.

2004 December - Giant waves, generated by an undersea earthquake off the Indonesian coast, hit the coast. The prime minister says 59 people were killed and more than 3,000 left homeless.

2005 February - Constitutional convention resumes, but without the participation of the main opposition and ethnic groups. Talks end in January 2006 with no reports of any clear outcomes.

2005 7 May - Three near-simultaneous explosions go off in shopping districts in the capital; the government puts the death toll at 23.

2005 July - Asean announces that Burma has turned down the 2006 chairmanship of the regional grouping.

2005 November - Burma says its seat of government is moving to a new site near the central town of Pyinmana.

2006 March - The new capital hosts its first official event, an Armed Forces Day parade




Nothing Planned


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