Space academy to train Sri Lankan astronauts
Sri Lanka will open a space academy to train astrounauts in Koggala
facility in China
Managing Director SupremeSAT R.M.
Manivannan. Picture by Shirajiv Sirimane
The programme will be launched as a joint venture between Supreme
Satellite Pvt limited, Colombo and China’s biggest satellite
manufacturing institution, Great Wall Corporation. (CGWIC)
A 30 acre land has been demarcated in Koggala and applications to
select students would be called soon, SupremeSAT Managing Director R.M.
The company will invest US $ 20 million for the project which comes
under the BOI. US $ 10 million would be invested this year, he said.
“We will build a satellite ground station in Koggala to oversee our
He said they have co-branded satellites with the Chinese company. The
facility could be used by other countries in the region.
The programme will save money being paid by local companies to
foreign satellite operaters and bring in foreign exchange to Sri Lanka,
He said the support he received for the project from President
Mahinda Rajapaksa, BOI and the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission
was encouraging and was a great motivation for him.
It has been decided to offer the satellite service free to the
Disaster Management Ministry so that they could predict natural
disasters in advance, he said. Manivannan said by next June, they would
acquire their second satellite and by 2015, would own a specially made
satellite. Established in 1980, CGWIC is the sole commercial
organization authorized by the Chinese government to provide satellites,
commercial launch services and to carry out international space
cooperation. The company has signed nine contracts with international
customers for the manufacture and in-orbit delivery of telecommunication
satellites, out of which four have been launched into orbit, whilst the
other two are set to be launched next year.
About 48.9 percent of all satellites are used for commercial purposes
(satellite radio, satellite TV, satellite internet). While 25.1 percent
are used for military purposes. The rest are for governmental/civilian
“More than making profits I want to help my mother land,” Manivannan