February 1, 2023

The Department of Science and Technology is looking at launching three cube satellites or nanosatellites this year.
Sec. Fortunato dela Peña announced recently the launching of the two nanosatellites – Maya-3 and Maya-4.
Cube satellites are small satellites originally designed to provide hands-on experience in developing satellites. These are usually sent to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
The development of Maya-3 and Maya-4 cube satellites are part of the STeP-UP Project.
Cube satellites last for six months to more than a year in orbit, depending on satellite mass, surface area, electronics inside, and the solar cycle, Mendoza said.
Maya-1, which was developed by two Filipino students at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) in Japan, is still in space since its launch in 2018.
Maya-1 contains an Automatic Packet Radio Service Digipeater which can communicate with ham radios. It also carries two cameras that have a wide-angle and narrow-angle lens to capture images and videos for research purposes.
In 2016 and 2018, the DOST also launched Filipino-made microsatellites, the Diwata-1 and Diwata-2, respectively.
Microsatellites are used to capture images that will be used for remote sensing (data-gathering about the earth’s surface) and for research. They also gather data on natural and man-made disasters, to monitor vegetation and water changes, among others.
Dela Peña earlier announced that the DOST has allotted P20 million for Maya-3 and Maya-4.
The fund was allocated for the scholarship of eight graduate students who would develop these, for the components, space environment tests, pre, and post-launch safety reviews.
The scholarship covers the students’ tuition, stipend, research grant, a “sandwich” program in Japan for them to undergo training in satellite development.  – PNA release