Space Program of Papua New Guinea

------The Papua New Guinean Space Agency------

Level = 0                                         Development: Very Low


Country Overview

What has been going on in Papua New Guinea?



Space Agency and its Activity

What kind of space power do they have?



Weapons and Power Projection

Does New Guinea have space weapons?



Timeline and the Future

What are they planning over there?

Population: 6,000,000 / Language: English / GDP: $2400 / Cities: Port Moresby

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Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern part of the world's second largest island and is prey to volcanic activity, earthquakes and tidal waves. Linguistically, it is the world's most diverse country, with more than 700 native tongues.

Some 80% of Papua New Guinea's people live in rural areas with few or no facilities.

Many tribes in the isolated mountainous interior have little contact with each other, let alone with the outside world, and live within a non-monetarised economy, dependent on subsistence agriculture.


Only around 1% of the land is suitable for growing cash crops, including coffee and cocoa, but abundant rainforests provide the raw material for a logging industry. Conservation groups have raised concerns about the social and environmental impact of the activity.

Mineral deposits - including gold and copper - are extensive, and there are reserves of oil and natural gas, but the difficult terrain and inadequate infrastructure make exploitation slow. The sector is an important source of revenue.

The separatist struggle in the neighbouring Indonesian province of Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya, prompted the flight of thousands of Papuans into Papua New Guinea from the mid-1980s onwards. Many of them remain in border-area jungle camps.

The Port Moresby government has said it will not tolerate the use of Papua New Guinean territory for Papuan separatist attacks on the Indonesian army.

Papua New Guinea had to deal with separatist forces of its own on the island of Bougainville in the 1990s. Up to 20,000 people were killed in the nine-year conflict which ended in 1997.

A peace deal signed in 2001 provided the framework for the election in 2005 of an autonomous government for Bougainville.

Papua New Guinea has strong ties with its southern neighbour, Australia, which administered the territory until independence in 1975. Canberra's substantial aid programme aims to relieve poverty and to boost development; Australia has also despatched police officers and civil servants to support their local equivalents.

But an Australian study warned in 2004 that Papua New Guinea risked economic and social collapse and said the country was a target for international crime. It suggested that Canberra should consider running Papua New Guinea's customs and border controls.


Full name: The Independent State of Papua New Guinea

  • Population: 5.9 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Port Moresby
  • Area: 462,840 sq km (178,704 sq miles)
  • Major language: English (official), Pidgin, native languages
  • Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs
  • Life expectancy: 55 years (men), 56 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 kina = 100 toea
  • Main exports: Gold, petroleum, copper, coffee, palm oil, logs
  • GNI per capita: US $660 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .pg
  • International dialling code: +675



Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Paulias Matane

Prime minister: Sir Michael Somare

The founding father of independent Papua New Guinea, Michael Somare came to power in August 2002 after a violent and chaotic election. His National Alliance party won the poll, and MPs unanimously elected Mr Somare as prime minister.

One of his first acts was to halt his predecessor's privatisation programme, saying the government needed more time to evaluate state assets.

Affectionately known as "The Chief", Mr Somare has twice before been Papua New Guinea's prime minister, and led the country to independence from Australia in 1975. He is widely regarded as being untainted by corruption.


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 Papua New Guinea's Space Agency

 Papua New Guinea is troubled by poverty and hunger, and 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 University of Papua New Guinea offers a degree in physics but nothing specific to space related educational architecture, such as astrophysics, astronomy, astronautics or aeronautics. The government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.

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

 New Guinea 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.

  Papua New Guinea operates no satellites and, not having an orbital presence, has no space power.

 The government of Papua New Guinea in Kampala has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.

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Timeline of Events in Papua New Guinea

...From the Past to the Future

 16th century AD - Ships from China and the Malay Empire trade with islanders.

Port Moresby: Port town grew into a modern city

  • Named by British captain John Moresby after his father
  • Annexed by the British in 1883-84
  • Population (National Capital District): 254,000
1526 - Portuguese sailor Jorge de Meneses is the first European visitor. He names one of the islands "ilhas dos Papuas" or "land of fuzzy-haired people".

1546 - Spanish explorer Inigo Ortiz de Retes names the other main island New Guinea because the islanders resemble the people of Guinea in Africa.

1768 - French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville lands at the islands during his circumnavigation of the world. Gives name to an island just to the east of New Guinea.

1873 - Port Moresby is named after one of several English explorers to lay claim to the island for Great Britain.

Europeans, Australians take control

1884 - Britain establishes a protectorate over south-east New Guinea, while Germany annexes the northern part of New Guinea.

1906 - Control of British New Guinea transferred to the newly independent Commonwealth of Australia and renamed Territory of Papua.

1914 - Australian forces occupy German New Guinea during World War I.

1921 - After the war the League of Nations grants Australia a mandate to run German New Guinea. This new Mandated Territory of New Guinea is governed totally separately from the Territory of Papua.

1933 - Gold-prospectors lead expeditions into the highlands. Here they find more than a million people living in fertile mountain valleys, their way of life apparently unchanged since the Stone Age.

1942 - Japanese forces occupy parts of both territories.

1949 July - Australia establishes a joint administration over both territories called the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.

1951 November - A 28-member Legislative Council established by Australia.

1954 June - Aerial survey reveals several previously undiscovered highland valleys inhabited by up to 100,000 people.

1961 March - First elections involving indigenous population.

1963 May - UN transfers control of West New Guinea to Indonesia. Today this region is called Papua.

1964 June - A 64-member House of Assembly replaces Legislative Council and for the first time indigenous representatives are elected to the majority of seats in the legislature.

1971 July - Renamed Papua New Guinea (PNG).

1973 February - Indonesia and PNG agree position of Irian Jaya border.

1973 December - Granted self-government. Michael Somare, chief minister in an interim coalition government, is sworn in as head of the governing Executive Council.

1975 April - New currency, the kina, replaces the Australian dollar.


1975 16 September - Attains full independence from Australia. Sir Michael Somare becomes PM.

1975 - Bougainville provincial government votes to secede from PNG. Somare's government retaliates by suspending the provincial government and withholding payments to the province.

1977 June-July - First parliamentary elections since independence.

Separatist struggle

1989 April/May - Separatist rebels on Bougainville begin prolonged armed struggle against the government. Secessionist, Francis Ona, proclaims "a republic of Bougainville". The recently-formed Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), anxious about environmental destruction and unhappy that profits are leaving the island, forces the closure of the Australian-owned Panguna copper mine.

1994 - PM Sir Julius Chan signs agreement with several Bougainville secessionist leaders which provides a transitional administration in Bougainville. Bougainville Revolutionary Army leaders are not signatories; they continue to fight for full independence.

Thousands died in Bougainville's secessionist rebellion

1995 April - The Bougainville Transitional Government is sworn in under leadership of Theodore Miriong. The three seats reserved for the BRA remain vacant.

1996 - Theodore Miriong is assassinated at his home in south-west Bougainville. He is replaced by Gerard Sinato.

1997 February-March - Government hires mercenaries from Sandline International to support government troops in Bougainville, sparking an army mutiny and civil unrest. Prime Minister Chan is forced to resign.

1997 September - The government declares a national state of disaster following a prolonged drought thought to have been caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon. Over 1,000 people are killed and a further 1.2 million are put at risk of starvation.


1997 October - Burnham Truce marks the end of the decade-old armed struggle by Bougainville separatists.

1997 December - Countries in the region establish the Truce Monitoring Group to oversee compliance with the Burnham Truce until 30 April 1998 when a ceasefire is to be signed. The New Zealand-led group also comprises troops from Australia, Fiji and Vanuatu. All of them are unarmed.

1998 April - Permanent ceasefire signed in Bougainville by government representatives and secessionist leaders. Australian led Peace Monitoring Group takes over from Truce Monitoring Group.

1998 July - Three tsunamis - gigantic waves generated by earthquakes - hit the north-west coast obliterating villages and killing 3,000 people.

1998 August - United Nations establishes the UN Political Office in Bougainville at the request of the PNG government.

1999 1 January - Bougainville Reconciliation Government replaces the Bougainville Transitional Government. Former rebel leader Joseph Kabui and Gerard Sinato are nominated as co-leaders.

1999 May - Joseph Kabui elected president of the Bougainville People's Congress.

1999 December - John Momis sworn in as governor of Bougainville.

2000 November - Authorities say all 1,000 inhabitants of the Duke of York atoll will have to be relocated because the island is slowly sinking due to global warming.

2001 August - Bougainville Peace Agreement, guaranteeing a referendum in 10 to 15 years on Bougainville's future political status, is signed in Arawa.

2002 August - Sir Michael Somare elected as prime minister for a third time.

2004 August - Australia deploys police to help fight rampant crime.

2004 December - Australian study warns that PNG is on course for social, economic collapse.

2005 May - Australia withdraws its police officers after the PNG Supreme Court rules that their deployment is unconstitutional.

Bougainville islanders elect their first autonomous government. Former separatist rebel Joseph Kabui becomes president.  





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