Diwata-2 microsatellite to be launched in outer space

MANILA — The Philippines will soon launch in outer space its second microsatellite called the Diwata-2, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said.

She told the Philippine News Agency that the DOST will launch Diwata-2 this year from Japan, though no specific date has been set yet.

“What’s good about about the Diwata-2 is that it carries more refined instruments, and it also has an amateur radio made in the Philippines,” she said.

Guevara noted that most of the parts of Diwata-1, the country’s first microsatellite, were crafted in Japan.

“This time, the microsatellite would carry something that was made here,” she added.

A team of Filipino engineers was sent to Japan to undergo an extensive course on microsatellites.

They made the Diwata-1 that was launched in outer space on April 27, 2016.

Diwata-1 weighs 50 kilograms and its size is similar to a “balikbayan” box.

It was created to capture images used for research and remote sensing.

The same team of engineers is working on the Diwata-2.

DOST officials earlier described Diwata-2 as lighter and more cubic.

It will be launched at a higher orbit via an H-IIA rocket that launches satellites into a geostationary orbit.

Meanwhile, Guevara said the DOST will also open the country’s first microsatellite laboratory this year.

“Through this laboratory, we would be able to make our own microsatellite by next year,” she said.

The Filipino engineers who created the Diwata-1 and Diwata-2 worked with engineers from Hokkaido University and Tohoku University in Japan.

Guevara said the microsatellite laboratory to be launched by the third quarter of 2018 could be found at the University of the Philippines.

“This would be open to everyone since it’s a national facility,” she said. Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA-northboundasia.com