The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) eyes launching the country’s second microsatellite, the Diwata -2, on the second quarter of 2018.
The Philippines launched its first Filipino –made satellite, the Diwata -1, in the outer space last April 27, 2016.
Assembled by a team of nine engineers who were stationed in Japan to undergo an extensive course on microsatellite, the Diwata -1 was created to capture images which will be used for research and remote sensing.
It weighs 50 kilograms and has the size similar to a “balikbayan box”.
The DOST said that except for the two who have resigned, the same team of engineers works on the Diwata-2.
”Diwata-2 will be lighter, and it will be more cubic,” described the DOST. The agency also noted that the Diwata-2 will be launched at a higher orbit or at a higher altitude, as it will be launched via an H-IIA rocket from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
An H-IIA rocket is a liquid-fueled rocket that launches satellites into geostationary orbit.
During the Diwata-1’s first anniversary last weekend, the DOST said Diwata-2 will have additional payload.
”While IT (Diwata-2) will continue Diwata-1’s mission, the Diwata-2 will focus more on its monitoring aspect,” DOST emphasized.
Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena earlier expressed his administration’s plan to strengthen the country’s satellite development capacity. He also plans to create a Space Agency.
”The government will invest substantially in space technology in the next 10 years,” he said.
For the DOST’s space industry program, Dela Pena said the agency has allotted Php 1 billion for this for 2017-2018.