Philippines launches 1st CubeSat into space

The spacecraft carrying Maya-1 has 2,700 kilograms of supplies and scientific gear. Space station crew members will unpack the payload when the freighter arrives at the orbiting lab early Monday morning, July 2 (US time).

Maya-1 is one of the 3 cube satellites under the Second Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Project or BIRDS-2 Project of the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan. Joining Maya-1 in the flight are other CubeSats, including Bhutan’s BHUTAN-1 and Malaysia’s UiTMSAT-1.

Maya-1 will be released into orbit in August.

Maya-1 belongs to the family of satellites produced by the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat), a research program jointly implemented by the University of the Philippines Diliman and the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute. PHL-Microsat previously launched into space Diwata-1 and Diwata-2.

Two Filipino graduate students under the PHL-Microsat program have developed Maya-1 in Japan. Joven Javier, who is currently taking his master’s degree, and Adrian Salces, who is taking his doctoral degree. –