Press Release
February 24, 2021

Villar lauds 3 Pinoy space engineers in the 2nd nanosatellite launched to the ISS

Senator Cynthia A. Villar wants the Senate to recognize the three Filiipino space engineers for developing Maya-2 CubeSat, the country's 2nd nanosatellite successfully launched to the International Space Station (ISS) last Feb. 21.

In filing Senate Resolution 657, also introduced by Sen. Nancy Binay, Villar said the three engineers—Izrael Zenar C. Bautista, Mark Angelo C. Puno and Marloun P. Sejera, have brought pride to the country for the satellite launched aboard the cargo spacecraft Cygnus "NG 15."

Villar said the remarkable achievements of the three Filipino engineers are not just in line with the policies and goals of the Philippine Space Act. It was also viewed as a "welcome good news" bringing genuine inspiration to the Filipinos amid the backdrop of the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

"Their work on the development of Maya-2 CubeSat launched into space constitutes a valuable contribution to the country's science and technology, particularly in the area of space science," noted Villar.

And for this, Villar said the three, who are currently pursuing their respective doctorate degrees in Space Engineering at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan, should be given commendation. She related that the Philippine Senate has in numerous occasions paid tribute to exemplary Filipinos for their outstanding contribution to the country.

Furthermore, the senator said the 1987 Constitution recognizes that science and technology are essential for national development and progress.

Due to this, the State shall give priority to research and development, invention, innovation and their utilization, and to the science and technology education, training and services.

Villar said the Maya-2 CubeSat, while being the second Philippine nanosatellite launched, is actually considered as the country's 4th satellite orbiting into space.

The Philippines launched Diwata 1 microsatellite on March 23, 2016; Diwata 2 microsatellite on Oct. 29, 2018 and Maya-1 nanosatellite on June 29,2018.

The Maya-2 uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components to verify proper function in space and the information gathered form the basis for the usage of these COTS components for future space missions. It also carries a store-and-forward payload that can be used to gather data from ground sensors for more practical applications like for weather and infectious disease analysis.

The Maya-2 CubeSat was launched to the ISS along with GuaranSat- CubeSat of Paraguay and Tsuru CubSat of Japan under the BIRDS-4 Project or the Fourth Leg of the Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite Project, initiated by the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan.

The spacecraft Cygnus "NG-15", carrying the Maya-2 CubeSat, is Northrop Gumman's 15rh contracted cargo resupply mission for NSA to the ISS and tasked to deliver 8,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies, and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. It was propelled through the launcher Grumman Antaresr rocket, lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Pad 0A at the Wallops Flight Facility of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Virginia, USA.

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