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Towards space

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña announced the launch of the Philippines’ second cube satellite Maya-2 into the International Space Station, through the space supply ship S.S. Katherine Johnson that took off from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Wallops Island flight facility in Virginia at 1:36 a.m. on Saturday.

Dela Peña lauded the launch of the Maya-2 CubeSat developed by three Filipino post-graduate students – Izrael Zenar Bautista, Mark Angelo Purio, and Marloun Sejera – as another milestone for the country in the field of space science.

Bautista, Purio, and Sejera are currently pursuing doctorate degrees in Space Systems Engineering and Space Engineering at Kyushu Institute of Technology, which is spearheading and hosting the Joint Global Multi-Nation BIRDS-4 Satellite Project, a cross-border interdisciplinary CubeSat development project involving the Philippines, Paraguay and Japan.

The Maya-2 development project was implemented 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 of the DOST.

The launch of Maya-2 came after the decommissioning of Maya-1 – the first ever Filipino designed and developed CubeSat – last November 23 after it was launched into space in June 2018.

The United States last week landed the Perseverance rover on Mars in an impressive display of technology and human ingenuity. The Philippines’ Maya-2 may not have attracted the same attention from the space and scientific community, but it is a major milestone and a step in the right direction for the country as we encourage the countrymen who seek to expand our horizons and further our knowledge of the planet and beyond.*

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