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Japan's ISS "Kibo" Module Deploys Philippines' First Microsatellite Diwata-1 to Space

May 03, 2016 01:07 PM EDT
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DIWATA-1, the microsatellite developed by the Republic of the Philippines was deployed in space with the help of Japanese ISS module "Kibo"
(Photo : NOAA via Getty Image)

All is fair in space exploration, even for small players like the Philippines, who despite limited funding, were able to launch their first microsatellite Diwata-1. The microsatellite was deployed in space through the Japanese ISS Experiment Module Kibo. It's also a first for Japan to deploy a microsatellite in space.

According to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) the launch was a successful collaboration between various Japanese and Philippine organizations including Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Republic of the Philippines and the University of the Philippines Diliman.

JAXA said in a press release that "It was launched from Florida, the United States, on March 23, 2016 (Japan Standard Time, all dates and times in this release are JST) and deployed from Kibo at 8:45 p.m. on April 27th."

DIWATA-1 was deployed in space with the help of Japan's ISS Experiment module "Kibo" which according to JAXA is their first 50-kg class microsatellite deployment. 

Both Japan and the Philippines are islands surrounded by big bodies of water. That's why developing satellite technology is imperative for their development. According to the Asian Journal, nine Filipino engineers developed DIWATA-1 with the help of their Japanese counterparts. DIWATA-1 was tested by JAXA before handing it over to NASA for final testing earlier this year.

DIWATA-1 is equipped with an imaging device including a fish-eye lens camera and a telescope. It is capable of beaming back "remote sensing information" to solve issues in the Philippines especially in the observation of meteorological occurrences which, unfortunately, affect the country on a regular basis.

"The launch today of the Philippines' first microsatellite "DIWATA-1" from Cape Canaveral in Florida is a historic and proud milestone for Philippine science and technology," Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia Jr in an interview.

The Philippines has proven that in terms of technology and scientific expertise, they can also play a role in space exploration. Japan also benefitted from the deployment aspect, making use of Kibo. JAXA said "We also plan to increase the simultaneous deployment capacity of the CubeSat-class satellites from the current 6U to 12U, then 18U, thus we expect more and more expansion of microsatellites use and operation in the Asian region and beyond, like this example of DIWATA-1, and through collaboration between overseas agencies and JAXA and Japanese universities."

The outer space is a vast area to explore and any feat, regardless of how small, is still considered a great achievement. After all it take skills, determination, intelligence and patience to launch a microsatellite in space, and it is considered a huge success especially if it can make a lot of difference in data observation in third world countries.

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