Orbital ATK’s unmanned resupply spacecraft Cygnus (Cygnus CRS OA-6) carrying the first Filipino-built microsatellite PHL-Microsat 1 Diwata has caught up with the International Space Station Saturday evening. Cygnus-6 was captured using the International Space Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2 by Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra at exactly 6:51 am EDT (6:51 pm in Philippines), NASA said.
The spacecraft was then installed to ISS’ Unity module. “The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 10:52 am EDT (10:52 pm in PH),” NASA added.
Aside from Diwata, NASA said “Cygnus is delivering more than 7,700 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support dozens of approximately 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 47 and 48.”
Diwata will stay at the ISS for few weeks before finally deploying to space. It will be deployed to space through Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer.
Filipino Master of Science students and scientists worked with Japanese institutions Hokkaido University (HU) and Tohoku University (TU) for the realization of first Filipino-built micro-satellite. The program used around PhP840 million with the Philippine government shouldering PhP324.8 million. Japanese universities shouldered the PhP515.92 million.
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.
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