PH's second cube satellite Maya-2 launched into orbit

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — The Philippines' second cube satellite Maya-2 was successfully launched into orbit on Sunday.

From the International Space Station, Maya-2 was released into orbit along with Paraguay's GuaraniSat-1 and Japan's Tsuru.

"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," Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said.

Maya-2 was launched into space aboard the S.S. Katherine Johnson Cynus spacecraft last February 21.

The cube satellite was designed by Filipino scholars who are taking their doctoral degree in space engineering at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan. They were sent through the Department of Science and Technology's Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program.

The 1.3-kilogram satellite contains a camera for image and video capture, an Automatic Packet Reporting System Message Digipeater, attitude determination and control units for active attitude stabilization and control demonstrations, Perovskite solar cells and Latchup-detection chip. Gathered data from these components will be used to evaluate technologies for future space missions.

Maya-2 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.

Its the predecessor, Maya-1, was launched into space in June 2018 and was deployed into orbit two months later. It returned to earth in December 2020. The country also launched its first two microsatellites, Diwata-1 in 2016 and Diwata-2 in 2018. Diwata-1 was decommissioned in March 2020, while Diwata-2 remains in space.