Sri Lanka’s first satellite set for April launch

Colombo: Sri Lanka will launch its first satellite into space in April, marking its entry into the space age, said an official here on Wednesday.

To be named RAAVANA-1, it is a research satellite built by two Sri Lankan students from the University of Peradeniya and the Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies.

It was designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan and is 1,000 cubic cm in size and weighs 1.1 kg, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the Sri Lankan media, RAAVANA-1 was handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on February 18 and will be launched to the International Space Station on April 17, through the assistance of Cygnus-1, an US spacecraft.

It is expected to fulfil five missions, including capturing pictures of Sri Lanka and its surrounding regions.

The RAAVANA-1 is expected to orbit 400 km away from earth and will have a lifespan of one and half years.