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22/03/2016: STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR JOSE L. CUISIA, JR. ON THE LAUNCH OF THE PHILIPPINES’ FIRST MICROSATELLITE “DIWATA-1”

STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR JOSE L. CUISIA, JR. ON THE LAUNCH OF THE PHILIPPINES’ FIRST MICROSATELLITE “DIWATA-1”

WASHINGTON, DC - 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.

“Diwata-1” is part of the payload of Orbital ATK Commercial Resupply Services Flight 6 (OA-6), and will be housed in the Japanese Experiment Module, nicknamed ‘Kibo,’ at the International Space Station.

The launch into orbit of “Diwata-1” is the culmination of a research program of the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) begun in 2014 to develop the necessary local expertise in space technology and allied fields in science and engineering. The PhilMicrosat Program is being implemented by several departments in the University of the Philippines-Diliman and DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI).

Assembled by nine young Filipino engineers stationed in partners Tohoku and Hokkaido Universities, “Diwata-1” carries four specialized cameras for various purposes including capabilities in imaging weather patterns, agricultural productivity and high resolution imaging of the country’s land and water resources. The satellite is expected to be in orbit for approximately 20 months and will be imaging the country twice daily. Images from Diwata-1 will be received in a Subic facility, and later on also in the UP Diliman Microsatellite Research and Instructional Facility that is currently under construction.

The launch of “Diwata-1” is not only a giant leap for Philippine science and technology. It could also provide Philippine policy makers with the scientific data and information needed to formulate policies relating to disaster mitigation, agricultural productivity and management of land and water resources. ###