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The Philippines first satellite Diwata-1 crashes back to earth

After four years in service, Diwata-1 retires as it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere.

Diwata-1 is the Philippine's first microsatellite for scientific earth observation built by Filipino engineers in collaboration with Japanese universities. With the support of the Deapartment of Science and Technology (DOST), the microsatellite was launched into space on March 23, 2016 via Atlas-V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida and it was deployed into orbit on April 27, 2020 from the International Space Station (ISS).

Weighing 53 kgs and measuring 50cm x 35 cm x 55 cm, Diwata-1 carried three (3) optical instruments to undertake a scientific earth observation mission, which includes studying the extent of damages from natural disasters, assessing changes in vegetation and ocean productivity, and capturing large scale cloud patterns.

Diwata-1’s milestones:

During its scientific earth observation mission, Diwata-1 contributed to advancements in the Philippines’ space technology landscape. As a platform for technology demonstration and experimentation, Diwata-1 enabled Filipino researchers to conduct hands-on and in-depth mission planning, design, integration, testing and operation of an earth observation satellite.

Diwata-1 covered 114,087 km. sq. of the Philippines’ land, or roughly 38.0%. Diwata-1 also orbited approximately 22,643 times around the Earth and passed by the Philippines roughly 4,800 times.

Diwata-1’s last mission

Diwata-1’s final image of the Philippines was captured in Samar on December 28, 2019. It went on to capture some more images to study satellite image degradation, with its last captures recorded in February 2020.

Although Diwata-1 has been officially retired, the Philippines still has its two observing microsatellites hovering in space, the Diwata-2 and Maya-1.

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