The first Filipino made microsatellite PHL-Microsat 1 Diwata is set to launch on Wednesday, March 23, 10 am Philippine time at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA. Diwata will be part of a resupply flight to the International Space Station (ISS) of Orbital ATK’s unmanned resupply spacecraft Cygnus under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.
The said spacecraft (Cygnus CRS OA-6) will also deliver ISS crew personal supplies, space gear, laptop, computer hardware, printer, vehicle hardware, cameras, camcorder, cables, and Human Research Program resupply.
The spacecraft will be launched by an Atlas V rocket operated by the Lockheed Martin-Boeing joint venture United Launch Alliance.
Diwata will stay at ISS before finally deploying to space in April.
“DIWATA-1’s delivery to the ISS [is] one step further in the country’s long journey towards developing homegrown science and technology expertise and finally put the Philippines in the list of nations that have the capacity of venturing into space and beyond,” the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said in a press release as quoted by GMA News Online.
Diwata is approximately 55 centimeters long, 35 cm wide and 55 cm high, weighing some 50 kilograms with four cameras.
Diwata’s receiving station, Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO), will be based in Subic. Diwata can examine the destruction caused on land by typhoons and rainstorms with an accuracy of up to five meters. It can also be useful in agriculture, forest cover monitoring and national security.
Filipino Master of Science students and scientists worked with Japanese institutions Hokkaido University (HU) and Tohoku University (TU) for the realization of this project.
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