First Philippine satellite reaches space station
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - March 27, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The US commercial spacecraft Cygnus carrying the Philippines’ first microsatellite Diwata-1 has successfully reached the International Space Station (ISS) and is now being unloaded of its 7,500-pound payload.

Carlos Primo David, executive director of the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), said the unloading of the cargo of the Cygnus, which includes Diwata-1, would take two weeks.

David said they would ask the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for footage of the unloading.

He said the deployment into orbit of Diwata-1 was scheduled on April 20 or 21.

David pointed out that the DOST and the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City are waiting for Diwata-1 to prove its mettle by sending satellite images of the Philippines’ land and waters from outer space a week or so after its release into orbit.

At the ISS, Diwata-1 will be placed inside the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD), nicknamed “Kibo.”

Toward the end of April, Kibo will release Diwata-1 into space at an altitude of 400 kilometers from the earth’s surface. 

In the weeks leading to this, DOST-PCIEERED and another unit, the DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute will speed up work on the setting up of a temporary ground receiving station in the DOST ASTI building that will receive the satellite images taken by Diwata-1.

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