PHL’s Maya-3 and Maya-4 cube satellites reach the International Space Station

Maya-3 and Maya-4, the first cubic satellites built by a Philippine university (cube sats), successfully reached the International Space Station (ISS) on August 30.

The two cubic satellites were loaded, along with 4,800 pounds of science supplies and experiments, into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Services 23 (CRS-23) Dragon Cargo spacecraft which docked to the ISS.

To “commemorate the experience,” NASA emailed this passport stamp to those who watched online the launch of the SpaceX CRS-23 refueling mission into space on August 29.

Dragon’s docking to the ISS was broadcast live on the Nasa website, which was covered by media around the world, including BusinessMirror.

NASA announced the confirmation of the docking.

“We confirmed the contact and the capture [of Dragon Cargo to ISS] at 9:30 a.m. Central Time, 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time [10:30 p.m. Philippine time, when the space station was] on Western Australia, ”he said live.

SpaceX’s CRS-23 Dragon Cargo spacecraft, via the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, was launched on August 29 at 3 p.m. PT.

Once the cubic satellites are released from the ISS, they will travel along an orbit similar to that of the space station at an altitude of about 400 kilometers.

“Stay tuned for news on the deployment of the Maya-3 and Maya-4 cube satellites from the ISS in the coming weeks. Once the cubic satellites are released into space, the ground crew can begin to check their health and prepare for operations, ”said the Sustained Proficiency, Innovation and Development Support Program. advancement of local space technologies and applications (Stamina4Space) on its Facebook page after docking. last August 30.

A “crowning moment” for the Philippines was how Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña described the launch of the sitting cube into space, as he also felt “proud and hopeful. “as a Filipino to have the Maya-3 and Maya-4. developed in the country.

Maya-3 and Maya-4 were the first Filipino cubic satellites to be built at a university in the country, the Diliman University of the Philippines (UPD).

They were built as part of the Proliferation of Space Science and Technology through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) project of the Stamina4Space program, funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the International Space Station as it prepares to dock on August 30.

It is implemented by the UPD and the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute, in collaboration with the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan, and with the support of scholarships from the DOST Institute for Science Education.

Maya-3 and Maya-4 were developed by the first group of STeP-UP fellows consisting of eight students, namely Gladys Bajaro, Derick Canceran, Bryan Custodio, Lorilyn Daquioag, Marielle Magbanua-Gregorio, Christy Raterta, Judiel Reyes and Renzo Wee.

The development of cubic satellites was one of the requirements of the Master of Science or Master of Engineering course within the framework of the nanosatellite engineering course.

Each seated cube weighs approximately 1.15kg with 10cm cubic frames. They have components designed to demonstrate remote data collection and optical imaging systems based on nanosatellites.

Their mission and payloads have been conceptualized and developed to test and demonstrate technologies that can be used to provide data that can be used in applications across various sectors, such as agriculture, environment and natural resources, and disaster risk reduction and management, among others.

Images courtesy of NASA live broadcast screenshot by Lyn B. Resurreccion and

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