Lanka enters space era with satellite launch
Friday, October 26, 2012
November 22, would be a red-letter day for Sri Lanka when the country moves to a new era by launching its first satellite. As exclusively highlighted by ‘Daily News Business,’ this historic venture would be initiated by ‘The SupremeSAT’ headed by R M Manivannan. The launch would also make Sri Lanka the 45th nation to own a satellite and make ‘SupremeSAT’ the first private sector company in the region to own a satellite.
Manivannan said that the agreement in this regard was signed last Tuesday and the satellite would be launched from Beijing at 9.30 pm and would be positioned over Sri Lanka in just 7 minutes. The total investment for the project is estimated at US $ 360 million which also included the construction of a satellite Content Management Station and a Space Academy in Kandy which is now in progress.
He said that the funds would be raised by his company and they hope to earn profits after eight years. The company would generate income through providing media space not only to local companies but other countries in the region as well.
He disclosed that they were originally planning to launch the satellite in 2015 but were able to advance it to November, mainly due the favorable investment climate in Sri Lanka.
“I am very glad that this venture coincides with the vision of the President to make Sri Lanka a Knowledge Hub and must thank the government for fully supporting this project,” he said. He also emphasizes that no government funding was used for this venture.
The company has entered into an exclusive partnership agreement with China's state owned China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) for the design, manufacturing and launching of the satellite and also to secure marketing facilities of many other satellites owned and operated by CGWIC and the China Satellites Communications Corporation.
He said that the satellite currently stationed in Beijing would carry flags of both Sri Lanka and China and his next objective is to build a satellite which will only carry the Sri Lankan flag.
“The space industry is a very important inter-growth part, of a country's industrial system. Sri Lanka is at a very critical and historical stage with regard to the development of the national economy and strengthening the civil society.”
The proposed Space Academy in Kandy will consist of a state-of- the-art Satellite Ground Station which will provide on the job training to Sri Lankans who will start to control the already co-branded satellites of SupremeSAT/Chinasatcom.