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Sri Lanka’s first satellite to be launched today


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Sri Lanka’s first satellite ‘Raavana 1’ will be launched into space at 2.16 am today, marking Sri Lanka’s entry into the global space age.

The BIRDS-3 satellites from Japan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were taken to the International Space Station (ISS) as cargo, and boarded onto Antares rocket, which will carry the Cygnus cargo spacecraft. The satellites will be launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s East Shore.

Designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan by Sri Lankan research engineers Tharindu Dayaratne and Dulani Chamika, from the Arthur C Clarke Institute, Moratuwa, ‘Raavana 1’ was designed to accomplish five missions. Its camera mission is to take pictures of Sri Lanka and its neighbouring countries. Its Lora Demonstration Mission is to validate the module/to be used to data download next satellites. The Attitude Determination and Control Mission of ‘Ravaana 1’ involves the team trying to reduce the angular velocity of the satellite, using magnetic torques.

‘Raavana 1’ measures 11.3 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm. It weights around 1.05 kg. The lifespan of the satellite is around one and a half years.


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