PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s first picosatellite, a 5cm-wide cube weighing 250g, has been launched into space on board a Falcon 9 rocket that took off from the US Vandenberg space force base in California.
The SpaceX rocket took off at 2.47am local time, University Sains Malaysia said in a statement, Bernama reported.
The satellite, named SpaceANT-D, was produced by USM’s spinoff company SpaceIn Sdn Bhd and was built to the PocketQube standard developed to help universities perform space science and exploration.
PocketQube satellites are meant for use in a constellation of tiny satellites in low earth orbit.
SpaceANT-D will be deployed in seven to 10 days and the first signals will be beamed to an earthbound station.
USM said the mission was a joint venture between USM, SpaceIn, and the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society.
SpaceIn CEO Norilmi Amilia Ismail said the use of small satellites would offer better opportunities to everyone to use space technology to solve various industrial and daily problems.
“SpaceIn is focussing on the agricultural, forestry and oil and gas industries as potential areas where SpaceANT-D can be used,” she said.
The development of the satellite was funded through a grant from an accelerator programme run by Teraju and with funds from Cradlefund to develop a satellite data centre at USM.