Philippine science marked a milestone on Wednesday, March 23, with the launch of the country’s first microsatellite into space, radio reports said.
Diwata-1 was launched into space at 11 a.m. (Philippine time) at Cape Canaveral in Florida, via an Atlas V rocket, radio reports said.
The microsatellite, which will be in orbit for about 18 to 20 months, will use four cameras to capture images of the Philippines twice a day, for research and remote sensing.
It is expected to monitor weather, disasters, and the environment.
Following the launch, Diwata-1 will be brought to the International Space Station (ISS), and housed in “Kibo,” a Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).
The JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) is to release Diwata-1 into space in April, at an altitude of 400 kilometers from the earth’s surface.
Diwata-1 is expected to contribute to Philippine agricultural productivity and food security.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Manila congratulated the Philippines for the satellite launch.
“Congratulations to the Philippines for the successful launch of its 1st all-Filipino assembled DIWATA microsatellite,” the embassy said in a statement.