MANILA, Philippines — The locally developed cube-satellites Maya-5 and Maya-6 have finally been deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS), the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) has announced.
PhilSA said the CubeSat deployment mission “Kibo” or Japanese Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (JEM) Experiment Module-26 facilitated the launch of the two cubesats on July 19.
On June 5, the locally engineered CubeSats were transported to the ISS aboard SpaceX Dragon Falcon 9.
PhilSA said the two 1.3-kilogram 1U CubeSats can help transmit data that can be used to monitor weather and other emergency announcements.
In a statement on Thursday, the academics who developed the satellites explained why the first few days after CubeSats are deployed are crucial.
“For the first 72 hours after launch, 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 give us important information, such as the status of the antenna deployment and battery levels,” said the team of academics.
“Once the functionalities are proven, the data that will be acquired during the satellites’ time in orbit will also shed light on scientific questions and can be analyzed for future satellite developments in the Philippines. This is possible thanks to the cooperation of many ground station operators around the world,” they added.
The academics also said they received the “first beacon” from Maya-5 and Maya-6 via an amateur radio satellite station at the University of the Philippines Diliman at around 4:34 p.m. on July 19, about 90 minutes after the satellites were launched 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 within the framework of the Space Science and Technology Proliferation project 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 Institute of Advanced Science and Technology.
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