‘A Sri Lankan in space - not the stuff of dreams’
Historic task undertaken by SupremeSAT and Great Wall
There is a possibility of Sri Lanka sending an astronaut into space
in less than four years.
This historic task has been undertaken by the Sri Lankan company
SupremeSAT and China’s state- owned biggest satellite manufacturing
institution, Great Wall Corporation (CGWIC).
The agreement will be signed in Beijing where the Chinese company is
SupremeSAT Managing Director R M Manivannan said SupremeSAT has
already written a new chapter in Sri Lankan history by becoming the
first institution in Sri Lanka to own a satellite.
Only 44 countries own a satellite outright or in partnerships of
three or fewer.“We have a co-branded satellite with the Chinese company
in orbit from last month.
Our next step is the building of our own company satellite at the
Great Wall Corporation facility. This would be ready in two years and
then it would be the first Sri Lankan owned satellite," he said.
The total investment for this would be around US $ 300 million.
The first satellite Sputnik was built and launched by the Russians in
1957. There are over 900 satellites in operation today, of which 381
satellites are in Geostationary Orbit.
Satellites have a typical life time of 15 years. Manivannan said
their next aim is to train Sri Lankan youths with space technology and
this would be initially done in China. "We will soon call for
applications for 'would be astronauts'. After going through their
records , we will send them for training to China," he said. "After
three to four years, they will be able to undertake missions in space
and sending a Sri Lankan to space would no longer be a dream," he said.