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Philippines to launch its first satellite in Aprilv

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(Photo from Philippine Star)

 

MANILA — The Philippines is set to launch into space its first microsatellite in April, according to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

 

Named as Diwata, the first all-Filipino assembled microsatellite, could be used in improved weather detection and forecasts, disaster risk management, detecting agricultural growth patterns, and the monitoring of forest cover, mining, protection of cultural and historical sites, and the territorial borders of the Philippines.

 

"Diwata was turned over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to prepare for its launch into space in April. With Diwata, comes the Filipino dream to have its own Philippine Space Agency," DOST said.

 

Recognizing the advantages of using satellite-based remote sensing, the government invested in the construction and launching of the Philippine scientific earth observation microsatellite, under the PHL-MICROSAT or Diwata program, with the budget of 800 million pesos (USD 16.76 million) for three years.

 

Diwata is the country's first microsatellite designed, developed, and assembled by Filipino researchers and engineers under the guidance of Japanese experts from Hokkaido University and Tohoku University.

 

Diwata-1 is a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite set to fly 400 km above the earth. It serves as a training platform and will pave the way for the Filipino team to further develop their skills in the space technology.

 

Part of the three-year program is the development of a second microsatellite (Diwata 2) to be launched in 2017.

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