Recently, Raavana-1 satellite was lifted by the U.S. under the “Birds-3 satellite launch to the ISS (International Space Station) project.” The mission is a UN initiative to aid countries to launch their first satellites. India’s neighbor Sri Lanka made its entry into the international space race with the successful launch of RAAVANA-1—which is the nation’s first cube research satellite—in the orbit from the ISS. Raavana-1 was planned and developed by two young Sri Lankans while studying space engineering at Japan’s KIT (Kyushu Institute of Technology).
The satellite was launched from the MARS (Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport) at NASA’s WFF (Wallops Flight Facility), Virginia and the satellite was stationed at the ISS. Reportedly, RAAVANA-1 would present geographical pictures of various regions of Sri Lanka from an elevation of 400 Km while orbiting to the earth. The satellite has a least lifetime of 18 Months. Its Lora Demonstration Mission would authenticate the module to be utilized to download information from later satellites. On the same note, China released Sri Lanka’s first communications satellite in 2012, in collaboration with a Chinese state-led space technology company.
Recently, the ISS was in the news as the space station would test 3D-printed materials in the orbit. Latest 3D-printed materials are departing to space due to a recently funded corporation between Florida’s Harris Corporation and Israel’s Nano Dimension. The companies intend to produce new materials to lower the production of small satellites, which is an extraordinarily popular market presently for applications such as weather observations and remote surveillance. They target to fly their materials on an exterior platform of the ISS for a year. The aim is to understand better how 3D-printed components—like materials and circuits—endure the space environment, which comprises extreme high radiation and temperature swings.