In a groundbreaking achievement, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and SpaceIn Sdn Bhd, a USM spin-off specialising in small satellite and IoT services, successfully launched Malaysia’s inaugural picosatellite, SpaceANT-D, using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.
Measuring a mere 5x5x5 cm and weighing less than 250g, SpaceANT-D is poised to revolutionise data storage and forwarding for IoT applications.
Scheduled for release from the AlbaPod deployer within the next seven to 10 days, the picosatellite will soon establish its first communication link with the ground station.
The mission, a collaboration between USM, SpaceIn, and the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society (MARTS), holds significance in Malaysia’s pursuit of Space Exploration 2030.
The partnership underscores a commitment to fostering local talent, driving innovation, and propelling the nation’s space industry forward.
Dr. Norilmi Amilia Ismail, CEO of SpaceIn, expressed her enthusiasm for the historic event, stating, “SpaceIn aspires to lead space exploration activities in Malaysia.
We believe that cost reduction through small satellites will provide more opportunities for everyone to use space technology to solve various industrial and life challenges.”
She highlighted the potential impact of SpaceANT satellites in key industries such as agriculture, forestry, and oil and gas.
The SpaceANT-D project received support from various avenues, including the SUPERB accelerator program by TERAJU, a strategic Bumiputera affirmative action agency, and funding from CRADLE, which facilitated the development of a satellite data center at USM.
Dr. Norilmi Amilia Ismail emphasised the importance of these collaborations in advancing space technology and driving opportunities for the broader community.
The successful launch marks a milestone for Malaysia, showcasing its capabilities in space exploration and contributing to the global advancements in satellite technology.
As SpaceANT-D begins its mission, it symbolises the nation’s commitment to staying at the forefront of the rapidly evolving space industry.