PH’s cube satellites Maya-5 and Maya-6 deployed into orbit
MANILA, Philippines — Locally developed cube satellites Maya-5 and Maya-6 were finally deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS), the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) announced.
PhilSA said the “Kibo” or Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer-26 CubeSat deployment mission facilitated the two cube satellites’ launch on July 19.
On June 5, the locally engineered CubeSats were transported to the ISS aboard the SpaceX Dragon Falcon 9.
PhilSA said the two 1.3 kilogram 1U CubeSats may help relay data that can be utilized for weather monitoring and other emergency announcements.
In a statement on Thursday, the scholars that developed the satellites explained why the first few days after the CubeSats’ deployment are crucial.
“During the first 72 hours from release, we will be monitoring the health of the satellites in orbit. The hope is that within the first few passes, we will be able to receive their beacons, which will tell us significant information such as the status of antenna deployment and battery levels,” the team of scholars said.
“Once functionalities are tested, the data to be acquired during the satellites’ time in orbit will also shine light on scientific questions and can be analyzed for future satellite developments in the Philippines. This is possible because of the cooperation of many ground station operators around the world,” they added.
The scholars also said they received Maya-5 and Maya-6’s “first beacon” through an amateur radio satellite station in the University of the Philippines Diliman at around 4:34 p.m. on July 19 – approximately 90 minutes after the satellites were released into space.
The team’s next action is to closely monitor the health and status of the CubeSats in preparation for their respective missions.
The scholars behind the development of Maya-5 and Maya-6 are Joseph Jonathan Co, Anna Ruth Alvarez, Ronald Collamar, Angela Clarisse Chua, Chandler Timm Doloriel, Khazmir Camille Valerie Macaraeg, Genesis Remocaldo, and Gio Asher Tagabi.
Maya-5 and Maya-6 were developed under the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through the University Partnerships (STeP-UP) project of the STAMINA4Space Program.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) funded the CubeSats project. It was implemented by the University of the Philippines Diliman and the DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute.