Philippines successfully launched 2nd nano-satellite Maya-2 into space

Philippines successfully launched 2nd nano-satellite Maya-2 into space

(Photo from Department of Science and Technology)

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) successfully launched the second Filipino-made nanosatellite Maya-2 into space. 

At 1:36 a.m. on Sunday, February 21, the "Maya-2 CubeSat" developed by three Filipino student engineers was launched to the International Space Station (ISS).

"To do something for the first time is great, but to be able to do it again and innovate is greater. We take pride in the launch of Maya-2, the successor to Maya-1 and the Philippines' latest milestone in creating value in space for and from Filipinos and for the world," said Philippine Space Agency director-general Joel Joseph Marciano Jr.

Those who build Maya-2 are Engr. Izrael Zenar Bautista (University of the Philippines), Engr. Mark Angelo Purio (Batangas State University), and Engr. Marloun Sejera (Mapua Institute of Technology).

The three are currently studying doctoral degrees in Space Systems Engineering and Space Engineering at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KyuTech) in Japan.

Maya-2 flew with GuaraniSat-1 CubeSat of Paraguay and Tsuru CubeSat under KyuTech's BIRDS 4 Satellite Project. They were all aboard the Northrop Grumman CRS-15 mission.

According to DOST Sec. Fortunato de la Pena, the country, continues to strengthen other space development programs due to its huge benefits to Filipinos.

"Since DOST started the Philippine Space Technology Development Program in 2014, we have already sent two microsatellites orbiting into space which are Diwata-1 and Diwata-2, and two nanosatellites Maya-1 and Maya-2," said Dela Pena.

The Maya-2 CubeSat weighs 1.3-kilograms. It consists of a camera to capture photos and videos of the country from Earth's orbit.

In March 2016, the country's first microsatellite, Diwata-1, was released into space. After two years, in October 2018, Diwata-2 was flown.

Meanwhile, the cube satellite Maya-1 was launched into space in June 2018.

DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) and UP Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineering (UP IEEE) implement such satellite development projects. They are affiliated with Hokkaido University and Tohoku University in Japan.

Dela Pena explained that the initiative is part of the department's "Stamina4Space" Program, funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

The Stamina4Space (Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement) Program is a space research and development program that aims to strengthen the expertise and local scientific-industrial base of space technology in the Philippines.

As explained by Prof. Paul Jayson Co, the project leader of Stamina4Space Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP), Maya-2 can also help to obtain data from "ground sensors."

The information collected from the satellite can be used for weather analysis and infectious diseases.

This year, two more cube satellites, Maya-3 and Maya-4, are also scheduled to be launched into space.

Microsatellites Diwata-3 and Diwata-4 are currently being developed, together with other nanosatellites.

"These projects are seen to further intensify the efforts of the country to harness the power of satellite technology for other purposes like those for agriculture, forest cover and natural resources inventory, weather forecasting, and disaster damage assessment and monitoring, among others," said in the DOST press release.

In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11363 to build the nation's first-ever Philippine Space Agency. —Tacloban News Update (Source: DOST)

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