Two PH-made cube satellites launched into space

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 29) – The Filipino-made Maya-3 and Maya-4 cube satellites have been launched into space on Sunday afternoon (Philippine time).

The two satellites were aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 spacecraft which lifted off at 3:14 p.m. from the Launch Complex 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The cargo spacecraft was supposed to launch on Saturday afternoon, but was aborted due to poor weather.

The target docking of the SpaceX Falcon 9 spacecraft at the International Space Station orbiting lab is on Monday night (Philippine time).

The date of the Maya-3 and Maya-4 cube satellites' launch into orbit has yet to be announced.

Maya-3 and Maya-4 were designed and developed by scholars of the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation, and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program.

Philippine Space Agency director-general Joel Marciano, Jr. said the two cube satellites will help improve the data gathering of Filipino experts in agriculture, weather monitoring, and disaster management, particularly in getting information from rural areas.

Marciano added that the satellites' data sensor collection will also contribute in strengthening government policies on food security, disaster risk management, maritime domain awareness, and environmental monitoring.

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Maya-2 is currently in space after being launched into the ISS in February and deployed into orbit in March.

Maya-1, the predecessor of the three cube satellites, was launched into space in June 2018 and was deployed into the orbit two months after. 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.