Sri Lanka Announces Planned First and Second Satellite
[Satellite Today 02-18-09] Sri Lanka is set to launch its first satellite in 2009, a spacecraft named after science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, Sri Lankan government officials confirmed in a press announcement released Feb. 16.
“Our exclusive economic zone will probably expand this year from 200 nautical miles to about 800 nautical miles,” Sri Lankan Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Director General Priyantha Kariyapperuma, said in a statement. “The most efficient and cost effective way to monitor such a large expanse of ocean will be to use the [low-Earth orbit] satellite. … We can use the [spacecraft] for imagery and disaster management by collaborating with [low-Earth orbit] satellite clusters of other countries.”
Kariyapperuma also confirmed that a second satellite, a geostationary spacecraft, would follow. “The satellites will be used to develop our communications sector. We are talking to a number of satellite manufacturers but we have not finalized plans yet,” Kariyapperuma said.
The Sri Lankan government has not named any potential partners, manufacturers or financiers but said it is exploring public-private partnerships and foreign assistance to launch the satellites.
The first satellite is expected to cost about $20 million, with the second estimated at about $100 million, Kariyapperuma said.