â€˜Raavana 1â€™ was launched into space early this morning (April 18), marking Sri Lankaâ€™s entry into the global space age.The satellite, designed and developed by two Sri Lankan engineers, will be shuttled to the International Space Station. The â€œRaavana 1â€ was launched into space with the assistance of the US rocket â€œAntaresâ€ from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.The cube-sized model satellite was built by Sri Lankaâ€™s Tharindu Dayarathna and Dulani Chamika Vithanage who were scholars of the Peradeniya Universityâ€™s Engineering Faculty and the Asian Institute of Technology respectively. They were able to launch this satellite while they were studying space engineering at Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan.
The satellite was launched at 2.16 am and scheduled to reach the International Space Station by 6.30 pm (local time).It is designed to orbit the Earth 15 times a day at a speed of 7.6 km per second. The satellite was designed to accomplish five missions. â€˜Raavana 1â€™ weighs around 1.05 kg. The lifespan of the satellite is around one and a half years.
Tharindu Dayarathna noted that they launched the Raavana-1 smoothly with no obstacles whatsoever. He added that it was a day to be remembered by all Sri Lankans.Dulani Chamika Vithanage, co-designer of Raavana-1 also shared her views with the News 1st team from Japan.
She noted that when the satellite reaches International Space Station it is to be sent in either May or June through the Keebo Modular owned by Japan. Consequently, it will commence its operations and a separate unit attached to the Arthur C. Clarke Institute will then receive the data provided through this satellite.
She thanked everyone who supported this successful endeavour from day one. She noted that â€œRaavana-1â€ project commenced in October 2017. She specifically thanked the Former Director General of the Arthur C. Clarke Institute who spearheaded the project, the Deputy Director-General Kamani Ediriweera and the Head of the Division, Kavinda Jayawardena. She also extended her gratitude towards the Arthur C. Clarke Institute.