National Institute of Aeronautics and Space

National Institute of Aeronautics and Space
Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional
Lapan logo.svg
LAPAN logo
Established November 27, 1964 (1964-11-27) (46 years ago)
Headquarters LAPAN Space Center, Jakarta
Administrator Adi Sadewo Salatun
Budget US$20 million (2009)

National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Indonesian: Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional/LAPAN) is the Indonesian government space agency. It was established on November 27, 1964 by former Indonesian president Suharto after one year's existence of an informal space agency organization. LAPAN is responsible for long-term civilian and military aerospace research. For over two decades, it has managed satellites, mainly telecommunication satellites, including the Palapa project satellites, which were built by Hughes (now Boeing Satellite Systems) and launched from the US on Delta rockets or from French Guiana using Ariane 4 and Ariane 5 rockets.



On May 31, 1962, Indonesia commenced aeronautics exploration when the Aeronautics Committee was established by the Indonesian Prime Minister, Juanda, who was also the head of Indonesian Aeronautics. The secretary of Indonesian Aeronautics, RJ Salatun, was also involved in the establishment.[citation needed]

On September 22, 1962, the Initial Scientific and Military Rocket Project (known in Indonesia as Proyek Roket Ilmiah dan Militer Awal or "PRIMA") was formed as an affiliation of AURI (Indonesian Air Force) and ITB (Bandung Institute of Technology). The outcome of the project was the launching of two "Kartika"("star") series rockets and their telemetric ordnances.

After two informal projects, which had no national contribution, the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) was established in 1963 by Presidential Decree 236.[citation needed]


For more than 20 years, LAPAN doing in research on Rocket, Remote Sensing and also satellites, mainly micro and nanosatellites, including Inasat-1 and Lapan-Tubsat. Inasat-1 is the first program on satellite development, and Lapan-Tubsat is the first satellite is owned by LAPAN, this satellite is build at Germany ( TU Berlin )

Palapa A1 and A2

The first program was the Palapa A1 (launched August 7, 1976) and A2 (launched October 3, 1977). The satellites were almost identical to Canada's Anik and Western Union's Westars although the Indonesian variants had larger parabolic reflectors suited to the large area of the archipelago. Although the satellites belonged to the government-owned company Perumtel, the spacecraft were made in the United States.[citation needed]

International cooperation

In 2008 Indonesia signed an agreement with the Ukrainian National Space Agency (NSAU) that will allow access to rocket and satellite technologies.

Biak Spaceport

Since 2008 Indonesia has been involved in a joint venture with the Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA) and some private companies to offer commercial satellite launch services, starting in 2011, by means of the air-launch system Air Start. Specifically, a Russian Antonov An-124 aircraft will deliver a space launch vehicle to the new Indonesian spaceport on Biak island (West Papua province). This spaceport is well suited to commercial launches as it sits almost exactly on the equator - any space vehicle launched at the equator has a greater initial velocity imparted to it, making higher velocity or heavier payloads possible.[1][2]

Indonesian LAPAN has enjoyed extensive co-operation and skills enhancement with Technical University Berlin.

Enggano satellite launchpad

February 2011: National Institute of Aeronautics and Space plans to build a satellite launchpad at Enggano Island, Bengkulu province. It is located at the westernmost part of Indonesia at the Indian Ocean coast. There are three possible locations, two in Kioyo Natural Park and one in Gunung Nanua Bird Park. The most strategic site for this launchpad is inside Nanua Bird Park, a place called Tanjung Laboko which is 20 meters above sea level and far from residential areas.[3] The plan has concerned from the Bengkulu Natural Resources Conservation Agency because both parks are habitat for a number of bird species native to Enggano Island.[4] The satellite launch pad requires area only one hectare, but the safety zone requires 200 hectares. The cost to be disbursed is Rp.40 trillion (around $4.5 billion). The location is also available for assembly of the rockets and launch preparations for satellites of up to 3.8 tonnes.[5]

Field Installations


Koto Tabang Equator Atmospheric Radar

The Radar Atmosfer Khatulistiwa Koto Tabang is a radar facility located at Koto Tabang, West Sumatra. It commenced operations in 2001. This facility is used for atmospheric dynamics research, especially areas concerning global climate change, such as El Niño and La Niña climate anomalies.[6]

Ground Station

Remote Sensing Satellites Ground Station

The Stasiun Bumi Satelit Penginderaan Jauh ("Deep Sensory Earth Satellite Station") is located at Pare-pare, South Sulawesi. Its main functions include receiving and recording data from earth observation satellites such as Landsat, Spot, ERS-1, and JERS-1.[citation needed]

Weather Satellites Ground Station

These ground stations, located at Pekayon, Jakarta and Biak, receive, record, and process data from NOAA weather satellite 24 times a day.[citation needed]

LAPAN-TUBSAT was the first Indonesian surveillance micro-satellite, launched on 10 January 2007 by ISRO PSLV-C7 with Cartosat-2 developed with Technical University (TU) Berlin, where the satellite was manufactured. It circles the earth 14.5 times a day at an altitude of 630 km, in a polar orbit with an inclination of 97.60° and a period of 99.039 minutes. The longitude shift per orbit is about 24.828° with a ground track velocity of 6.744 km/s with an angular velocity of 3.635 deg/s, and a circular velocity of 7.542 km/s.


Main Computer Laboratory

The Laboratorium Komputer Induk ("Master-Planning Computer Laboratory) is located at Pekayon in Jakarta. Its functions include: preliminary satellite imagery image processing, such as geometric correction and radiometric correction.

Quality Test and Photography Laboratory

The Laboratorium Fotografi dan Uji Mutu "Photography and Experiment Standards Control Laboratory") at Pekayon, Jakarta, has main function works with satellite imagery digital image processing and satellite imagery film photographic film image processing.

Rocket Motor Laboratory

The Laboratorium Motor Roket is located at Tarogong, West Java. It designs and produces rocket propulsion systems.

Propellant Laboratory

The 'Laboratorium Bahan Baku Propelan ("Combustion Propellant Laboratory") researches propellant, such as oxidizer Ammonium perchlorate and Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene.


Solar Radiation Observatory

The 'Stasiun Pengamat Radiasi Matahari (Monitoring Stations [for] Solar Radiation) observe ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Operations began in 1992. These facilities were developed by Eko Instrument from Japan, and are located at Bandung and Pontianak.


LAPAN rockets are classified "RX" (Roket Eksperimental) followed by the diameter in millimeters. For example, the RX-100 has a diameter of 100 mm. LAPAN's current workhouse rocket propulsion system consists of four stages, namely the three-stage RX 420 and the RX-320 level. It is planned to use the RX-420 as a booster (rocket booster) RPS for the planned Roket Pengorbit Satelit ("Orbital Satellite Rocket") planned to fly in 2014. In 2008 optimistic hopes were that this rocket,. known as SLV (Satellite Launch Vehicle) would first be launched in Indonesia to 2012, and if there were extra funds pursuant to the good economic situation of 2007-8, possibly the year 2010. In fact, the LAPAN budget for 2008 and 2007 was Rp 200 billion (approximately USD $20million). Budgetary issues surrounding the international credit crises of 2008-2009 placed many Indonesian technical projects in jeopardy most especially the complete development of RX-420 and associated micro-satellite program to world-class standards ahead of project finalization schedule and the opportunity to work together with the world institutions. LAPAN hopes to be an educating partner with Indian Aerospace in sciences related to satellite.[citation needed]

At November 11, 2010, LAPAN spokesman said the RX-550 rocket would undergo a static test in December this year and a flight test in 2012. The rocket will consist of four stages, will be part of an RPS-01 rocket to put a satellite in orbit. Before, the Polar LAPAN-TUBSAT (LAPAN-A1) satellite created in cooperation with Germany was successfully placed in orbit and until now still functioning well. The aim is to have home-made rockets and satellites.[7]

LAPAN has re-established and rejuvenated Indonesian expertise in rocket and missile based weapons systems in cooperation with the TNI AL [Armed Forces of Indonesia] began in 2005. In April 2008, Indonesian TNI began a new missile research program alongside LAPAN. Prior to this, eight projects were sponsored by the TNI in Malacca monitoring with satellite remote LAPAN-TUBSat, most especially the theft of timber and alleged encroachment on Indonesian territorial waters in the 2009 escalation over Malaysia's claims to the huge gas fields off Ambalat-island.[8]


RX-100 has: diameter of 110 mm length of 1900 mm mass of 30 kg and length of 1900 mm. Functions: to test rocket payload subsystems. Propellant type: solid-composite Fuel time: 2.5 seconds, Flight time: 70 seconds Maximum speed: Mach 1. Range: 11 km, 7000m altitude, Payload: Diagnostic,: GPS, altitude meter, gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, CPU processor and battery.


Two-stage rocket launching RX-150-120 supported by TNI-AD (Indonesian Army) and PT Pindad. Rocket with cruise distance 24 km was successfully launched from moving vehicle (Pindad Panser) on March 31, 2009.[citation needed]

R-Han 122

R-Han 122 rocket has capability of a land-to-land weapon with a shooting range up to 14 kilometers. The rocket are the result of the six years LAPAN's work. By 2014, at least 500 R-Han 122 rockets will be part of army arsenal.[9][dead link]


The main[clarification needed] rocket, the Lapan RX-250 were launched regularly between 1987 to 2005.[citation needed]


In 2008 Lapan successfully flew two RX-320. These 320 mm diameter rockets were launched on 2 July and 30 May 2008 at Pameungpeuk, West Java.[citation needed]


Category: Microstat orbital launch vehicle same as Lambda from japan with lighter modern materials and modern avionics. Launch unguided at an 70 degrees angle of inclination with a four-stages solid motor launcher.[10]

Diameter of 420 mm Length of 6200 mm Lift-off mass: 1000 kg. Propellant: solid composite, firing time 13 seconds Thrust: 9.6 tons Flight duration: 205 seconds Maximum velocity: mach 4.5 Range: 101 km, 53000 m altitude Payload: diagnostic, GPS, altitudemeter, gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, processor and battery. The RX-420 was entirely built using local materials.

LAPAN carried out a stationary test on RX-420 on 23 December 2008 in Tarogong, West Java. The RX-420 missile was tested at the launching station Cilauteureun, Pameungpeuk District, Garut regency, West Java. The LAPAN RX-420 is the test bed for the entirely indigenously developed satellite launch vehicle. RX-420 is suitable for launch of micro-satellites (50 kg or less) and nano-satellites (5 kg or less) currently in co-development with Technical University of Berlin

The rocket launching plan will be extended in 2010 by launching combined RX-420-420 and in 2011 for combined RX-420-420 – 320 and SOB 420.

RX-420 Plus and RX-520

At planning stage are the RX-420 with multiple customizable configuration boosters and the planned 520mm RX-520. The RX-520 is predicted to be able to launch 100 kg+ payload into orbit. This large rocket is intended to be fueled by high-pressure liquid. Hydrogen Peroxide and various hydrocarbons are under evaluation. Addition of RX-420 boosters to the RX-520 is calculated to increase lifting capacity to 500 kg+ payload, although if too expensive, the proven Russian Soyuz and Energiya will likely be employed.

RX-520 consists of one RX-420 and two boosters of RX-420 in stage-1, one RX-420 in stage-2, one RX-420 in stage-3 and as a payload launcher one RX-320 in stage-4.[11]

LAPAN Library

In June 2009, LAPAN launched its extensive online library of over 8000 titles on aeronautics and astronautics. This is the largest dedicated aerospace library in ASEAN and it is hoped to bring Indonesian and ASEAN talent into the LAPAN program, especially for those disadvantaged by location. It is unclear how much content will be available freely to the public, and what specific form of library will operate.[12]


Komurindo or Kompetisi Muatan Roket Indonesia means Indonesia Payload Rocket Competition. The competition is established by Lapan, Education Ministry and some Universities, etc. for enhance rocket research in the Universities. The third competition has been done in late June 2011 in the Pandansimo Beach of Bantul, Yogyakarta.[13]


External links

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