June 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka's first satellite 'Raavana-1' was successfully launched into orbit Monday from the International Space Station (ISS) along with two other BIRDS 3 satellites from Japan and Nepal.
The cube satellite Raavana 1, designed and developed by two Sri Lankan research engineers studying space engineering at Japan's Kyushu Institute of Technology, was launched in to orbit at 3:45 pm Sri Lanka time.
Raavana-1 was deployed to the 400km of orbit at an inclination of 51.6 degrees using the JAXA (Japanese Aerospace and Exploration Agency) owned Kibo experiment module.
The research satellite measuring 11.3 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm, and weighing around 1.05 kg was designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology by Tharindu Dayaratne and Dulani Chamika, two Sri Lankan engineers from the Arthur C Clarke Institute, Moratuwa.
The BIRDS-3 satellites from Japan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were taken to the International Space Station (ISS) as cargo boarded onto Antares rocket carrying Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's East Shore on April 18 at 2.16 am Sri Lanka time.
The satellite is expected to fulfill five missions including the capturing of pictures of Sri Lanka and its surrounding regions. It will have a minimum lifespan of one and half years.