PH’s first cube satellite to be launched on June 29

Jace Amodo
PUBLISHED June 28, 2018 01:13 pm
(L-R) Adrian Salces, Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano Jr, and Joven Javier. Photo from PHL-Microsat/DOST-ASTI

(Inside Manila) The Philippines is set to launch its first ever cube satellite (CubeSat), the Maya-1, into the International Space Station (ISS) at exactly 5:41 p.m. (PHT) on June 29, from Cape Canaveral, Florida in the United States.


The announcement was made via the Department of Science and Technology - Advanced Science and Technology Institute’s (DOST-ASTI) Facebook page on June 26. The Maya-1 will be launched to the ISS through the SpaceX CRS 15 mission aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, and will then be released in orbit come August.


The Maya-1 was assembled by Filipino scientists Joven Javier and Adrian Salces, who were enrolled to Kyushu Institute of Technology University in Japan by the DOST for training. The CubeSat was made possible by the Development of the Philippines' Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat), a joint research program by the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD) and the DOST-ASTI in partnership with Kyutech.


If the comments on the statement were an indication, several netizens confuse Maya-1 with Diwata-1, the country’s first microsatellite launched into space on April 2016 under the same program. To put things in perspective, let’s break down the purposes of both.


Diwata-1 is a microsatellite developed mainly to assist in disaster management programs, weather forecasting, agriculture, fisheries, forest protection, mining, and even the protection of cultural and historical sites using the application of satellite technologies.



Flight model of Maya-1. Photo from PHL-Microsat/DOST-ASTI


Meanwhile, the 10-cubic centimeter Maya-1 is a CubeSat that aims to, as a statement from the DOST-ASTI confirms, “collect data from ground sensor terminals within its footprint, save it, and forward the data to any member ground station.” The CubeSat has a wide-angle lens camera narrow-angle lens camera to do so.


As well, it contains a low-cost Global Positioning System (GPS) commercial off-the-shelf chip, an Automatic Packet Radio Service Digipeater to communicate with ham radios, a magnetometer to measure the magnetic field in space, and a Single Event Latch-Up mission to record corruption incidents prompted by the inevitable space radiation.


Joining Maya-1 for Kyutech’s 2nd Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Project or BIRDS-2 Project are two other CubeSats: BHUTAN-1 from Bhutan and UiTMSAT-1 from Malaysia.


The announcement comes in between posts of the institute’s upcoming National Science and Technology Week, which is happening on July 17 to 21 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. Watch out for the rocket launch broadcast via DOST-ASTI Facebook page.

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