Gov’t renames ‘microsatellite’ initiative to ‘space’ program

With Congress about to approve a bill creating the country’s first space agency, the government has deemed it fit to rename its pioneering microsatellite initiative into a space program.

The country’s first micro-satellite, the Diwata-1, was co-developed by Filipino scientists in Japan under the PHL Micro-satellite program

In a statement, the University of the Philippines said the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) Program will now be called the Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program.

PHL-Microsat focused primarily on R&D and capacity-building in space technology and small satellites. Started in 2014, the program has developed, launched, and is currently operating two 50-kilogram microsatellites: Diwata-1 and Diwata-2; and a 1-kg nanosatellite, Maya-1.

The STAMINA4Space Program, on the other hand, focuses on further development of local expertise in Space Technology and Applications (STA) to spur the development of high-value industries in the country, and to address needs in scientific earth observation for disaster risk reduction and management, resource assessment, environmental monitoring and other applications.

The program is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), monitored by DOST-Philippine Council for Industry and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), and implemented through the collaboration between the Diliman, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the DOST, and Hokkaido University and Tohoku University in Japan.

Leveraging on advancements in computing and sensing technologies, and the increasing opportunities for access to space, STAMINA4Space uses small satellite technology as a platform for:

  1. Generating valuable data from scientific earth observation that lead to more actionable information and responsive programs, policies and interventions across various societal applications;
  2. Building an industrial base for high value-add activities and innovations in aerospace technology and affiliated sectors;
  3. Creating an enabling and conducive environment for interdisciplinary R&D, leading to a stronger local ecosystem for scientific innovation; and
  4. Developing highly trained, specialized researchers, scientists, engineers and S&T workers, and transforming them into T-shaped people that work together across different technical disciplines to tackle high-impact, societal-scale challenges for the country.
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