Maya-2, the Philippines’ second cube satellite, was successfully released into orbit by the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, 14 March 2021, along with Paraguay’s GuaraniSat-1 and Japan’s Tsuru.
Developed under Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology’s 4th Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite (BIRDS-4) Project, these cube satellites were launched on February 21, 2021 at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Station in Virginia, United States through the S.S. Katherine Johnson Cygnus spacecraft at 1:36 AM PST.
Maya-2 was designed and built by Filipino scholars assisted through the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) Project of the Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program, with funding support from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“The successful launch of Maya-2 makes me feel proud. The accomplishment made possible by our young researchers and engineers should make us confident that we can do more in the area of space technology. I have high hopes that we, as a people, will be able to benefit more from developments in this area–all towards making the quality of life of our people better,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.
Maya-2 engineers Izrael Zenar Bautista, Mark Angelo Purio, and Marloun Sejera confirms that upon deployment of the CubeSat, they will immediately start carrying out the satellite’s missions.
Maya-2’s engineers in Kyutech Laboratory
At just 1.3 kg, Maya-2 has a camera that captures images and videos, an Automatic Packet Reporting System Message Digipeater (APRS-DP), attitude determination and control units for active attitude stabilization and control demonstrations, Perovskite solar cells, and a Latchup-detection chip. Gathered data from the demonstrated components will be used to evaluate these technologies for future space missions.
Further, it can collect data remotely through a store-and-forward mechanism and gather data for applications such as weather and infectious disease analysis through ground sensors. Maya-2 was developed and improved using the knowledge gained from developing its predecessor, Maya-1.
DOST and STAMINA4Space Program are looking forward to the continued expansion of the Philippines’ capabilities and innovations in the space technology applications sector with the development of more Filipino-made satellites. They have corroborated that Maya-3 and Maya-4 are targeted to be launched within 2021.
As the monitoring agency of the STAMINA4Space Program, DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) is optimistic that these STA initiatives will bring positive change to the country.
“As a leader and preferred partner in enabling game-changing innovations in the emerging technology sectors, the successful release of Maya-2 into orbit is testament that Filipino scientists and engineers are capable of uplifting the lives of Filipinos through research and development (R&D),” said DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit.