I initially thought the video above was a bunch of Sri Lankans watching their money disappear into the air, like Mihin Space. However, it seems that it’s not a government launch, per se. It seems that it’s a private company called SupremeSAT which has Presidential son Rohitha Rajapakse as an engineer, fresh of his bachelor’s degree in Russia.
The project cost $20 million USD initially, rising to $320 million over successive launches, including building an earth station in Kandy. So one wonders where such princely sums come from. At least it’s not taxpayer money, I think. It seems like this money comes from somewhere and goes to a Chinese company to put the thing into space. That’s about the extent of engineering involved.
Like a lot else associated with the Rajapaksas, this seems to be driven by personal whim rather than need. Mahinda (pere) wanted an airline, so he got that, despite bleeding public money. The other sons wanted to race cars and play rugby, so those sports all got tax breaks and state support. Now the youngest son has said that he wants to be an astronaut, so people are scrambling and doing God knows what to put stuff in space.
One just wishes one of the Rajapaksa sons would develop an interest in, say, public transport, affordable food or jobs.