The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it is targeting to launch the country?s second micro-satellite, the Diwata -2, by the second quarter of 2018.
The Philippines launched its first Filipino-made satellite, the Diwata -1, in the outer space on April 27, 2016.
The Diwata -1 was Assembled by a team of nine engineers who were stationed in Japan to undergo an extensive course on micro-satellite technology.
Weighing about 50 kilograms with the size of a ?balikbayan box,? the micro-satellite has been able to capture high-resolution images that are used for research and remote sensing.
The DOST said that except for the two engineers who have resigned, the same team will works on the Diwata-2.
?Diwata-2 will be lighter, and it will be more cubic,? said the DOST, adding that the Diwata-2 will be launched at a higher orbit or at a higher altitude, as it will be launched via an H-IIA rocket from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
An H-IIA rocket is a liquid-fueled rocket that launches satellites into geostationary orbit. The DOST also said Diwata-2 will have additional payload.
?While IT (Diwata-2) will continue Diwata-1?s mission, the Diwata-2 will focus more on its monitoring aspect,? the DOST stressed.
Meanwhile, DOST secretary Fortunato Dela Pena said the Duterte administration plans to strengthen the country?s satellite development capacity and create a national space agency.
?The government will invest substantially in space technology in the next 10 years,? he said. For the DOST?s space industry program, Dela Pena said the agency has allotted P1 billion for 2017-2018. — Ma. Cristina C. Arayata/PNA