Knowledge, experience gained from PH’s cube satellites development to be shared

Published August 29, 2021, 5:06 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The knowledge and experience gained from the development and creation of the country’s first university-built satellites, Maya-3 and Maya-4, will be shared to any other institutions.

Prof. Paul Jason Co, leader of the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) Project, made the statement following the successful launch of the two low-orbit satellites to the International Space Station (ISS).

“The success of Maya-3 and Maya-4 will prove that CubeSats can be successfully built locally,” Co said in a statement. “The knowledge and experience gained from this endeavor can and will be shared to any other institutions through collaboration and cooperation.”

The completed Maya-3 and Maya-4 Flight Models (FM). (Photo from STAMINA4Space)

The Mayas left Earth aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:14 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 29 (Manila time), as part of SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission-23 (SpX-23).

Weighing approximately 1.15 kilograms each with 10-centimeter cubic frames, the cubesats house components that are designed to demonstrate nanosatellite-based remote data collection systems and optical imaging.

These satellites were built under the STeP-UP project of the STAMINA4Space Program, which is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and is implemented by the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) and the DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI).

The first batch of STeP-UP scholars are composed of eight students who received scholarship support from DOST-SEI. They are Gladys Bajaro, Derick Canceran, Bryan Custodio, Lorilyn Daquioag, Marielle Magbanua-Gregorio, Christy Raterta, Judiel Reyes, and Renzo Wee.

Batch 1 of STeP-UP scholars with the Maya-3 and Maya-4 Flight Models. Top (L-R): Renzo Wee, Christy Raterta, Lorilyn Daquioag, Derick Canceran Bottom (L-R): Judiel Reyes, Gladys Bajaro, Marielle Magbanua-Gregorio, Bryan Custodio. (Photo from STAMINA4Space)

“Maya-3 and Maya-4 built by our STeP-UP scholars in the Philippines lends credence to the quote ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done,’” said STAMINA4Space Program Leader Dr. Maricor Soriano.

“Convincing local industries to participate in space technology development requires two things — local expertise and a clear return of investment. CubeSats are the low-hanging fruits which Philippine industries can grab because aside from being scalable, we already can train people to build them,” she added.

Soriano congratulated the first batch of home-grown scholars for their achievement.

“Clearly, the mission to strengthen our local space industry and increase our know-how continues beyond the launch. Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic you persevered.”