President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has lauded the recent launching of two locally- developed cube satellites (CubeSats) to the International Space Station (ISS), citing its significant contribution in weather forecasting, traffic control, and security and defense. ![BBM SONA 2023.jpg]( ###### President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Noel Pabalate)
"The Philippines has launched two additional satellites into space," Marcos said in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 24. He recognized the significance of the satellites in various areas as they will track weather, predict storms, evaluate soil and water supplies, and analyze shifts in population. The satellites can also be used for traffic management, geo-hazard mapping, risk assessment, and even on security and defense. "Science, technology and innovation will drive the quality and competitiveness of our workforce, as well as our manufacturing, export, creative, and service industries, in existing markets and in new ones waiting to be explored," the Chief Executive stressed. Launched into space last June 5, Maya-5 and Maya-6 were the second set of CubeSats developed by scholars under the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) project of the STAMINA4Space Program funded by the DOST and being implemented by the University of the Philippines-Diliman and DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI). The very first CubeSats, called Maya-1, was launched in 2018 and decommissioned in November 2020. It was then followed by Maya-2 which was successfully launched in February 2021, then by the first set of locally-developed CubeSats Maya-3 and Maya-4 that were flown to space in August 2021. In his one-hour and 10-minute speech, the President recognized the efforts of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in leading the development of the country's capabilities in science, technology, and innovation. He also reported the return of 44 renowned Filipino scientists in diverse areas of expertise to the Philippines as part of the Balik-Scientist Program. “They will undertake research in various priority fields, and will be supported by upgraded facilities and R&D funding,” the President said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (