Colombo, Aug 19 (): Sri Lanka’s first space academy is to be unveiled next year with expert technical assistance offered by China through a joint undertaking between Supreme Satellite Private Ltd, Colombo, Sino Satellite Communications Company Ltd (SinoSAT) and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC).
The foundation stone for the future Space Academy of SupremeSAT was laid at the Kandy BOI zone by Chen Qiufa, visiting Vice Minister of Industries and Information Technology, People’s Republic of China, together with top Chinese officials. The landmark agreement was signed in Kandy by Manivannan, Managing Director of SupremeSAT, Zhang Xiaodong, Executive Vice President of CGWIC and Li Jie,President of SinoSAT.
Manivannan told the Business Times that the mission is to inspire thousands of young people and encourage them to look to space for a career. He added that it will use Chinese world-class expertise in space science to further boost the size and quality of Sri Lanka’s science and engineering pool, providing the country with skilled workers who can boost the growth of Lanka’s economy.The total investment would be around US $ 60 million. Kandy district gets its first Chinese investment through this space venture.
The Sri Lankans would be trained on the job at a state of the art Satellite Ground Station to handle communication satellite operations and to network with the already co-branded satellites of SupremeSAT/Chinasatcom as a first step to be prepared to operate the fully owned satellite of SupremeSAT which is expected to be launched in December 2015.
R. M. Manivannan said that this investment would give confidence to other private sector companies in the world to invest in Sri Lanka. He added that SupremeSAT has written a new chapter in Sri Lankan history by becoming the first institution in Sri Lanka to own a satellite.
SupremeSAT is said to have a co-branded satellite with the Chinese company already in orbit since last month. The company’s next plan is to build their own satellite at the Great Wall Corporation facility which would be ready in two years after which it would become the first Sri Lankan owned satellite.