GEORGE TOWN, June 28 – Today marks a significant milestone in Malaysia’s space exploration journey as Angkasa-X successfully launched its first satellite, A-SEANSAT-PG1, also known as Penang1. The launch of this satellite not only signifies a major step forward for Malaysia’s space technology ecosystem but also holds great potential for economic advancement, particularly for equatorial countries. Aligned with the 12th Malaysia Plan, the launch of A-SEANSAT-PG1 serves as a catalyst for national development and the nurturing of future talent in Malaysia.
It aims to accelerate technological evolution through innovation adoption and research and development efforts, in line with the nation’s drive for progress. ANGKASA-X envisions establishing a robust space economy, with a special focus on ASEAN countries, by ensuring affordable and accessible data connectivity and essential information for society, governments, and companies. The company aims to become the first space tech unicorn in Southeast Asia and contribute to the development of the ASEAN space economy.
The launch event was broadcasted live from four locations in Malaysia: University Science Malaysia (USM) in Georgetown, Penang; the Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA) headquarters and GreenPro Capital office in Kuala Lumpur; University Science Malaysia (USM) in Georgetown, Penang; and Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation Berhad (SDEC) in Kuching, Sarawak, with live streaming from Vostochny Cosmodrome.
The ANGKASA-X team leading the satellite launch includes Dr. William Lim, Group Executive Director, and Ir. Norhizam Bin Hamzah, Group Chief Technology Officer, along with their dedicated engineering team. Leveraging their technological expertise, ANGKASA-X aims to revolutionize internet access through its innovative Satellite-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering. Their goal is to establish the first constellation of Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellites along the equator, all designed in Malaysia by Malaysians.
The LEO satellites will work together to revolutionize data connectivity services and provide affordable remote-sensing services, particularly in rural areas across Asia. This initiative aims to bridge the digital divide and ensure that underserved regions along the equator have access to vital information. The satellites will also play a crucial role in providing highly demanded data for weather forecasting, aircraft tracking, maritime surveillance, and security purposes. Additionally, the satellites will provide real-time imaging of locations prone to potential dangers such as landslides, deforestation, and natural disasters.
This real-time information will facilitate disaster relief efforts and assist town planners in making informed decisions for effective and holistic development. It is worth mentioning that Malaysia has demonstrated its capabilities in the space industry before, being the first country in Southeast Asia to design, assemble, and launch its homegrown LEO satellite, RazakSAT-1, in 2009. The launch of A-SEANSAT-PG1 in 2023 further solidifies Malaysia’s position as a leading player in space technology.
Investing in satellite and space technology not only drives talent development but also creates high-value jobs and opens doors for the development of new space technology solutions for global markets. It also attracts domestic and international investment and talent, positively impacting the nation’s economy. The launch of A-SEANSAT-PG1 reflects Malaysia’s commitment to becoming a digitally empowered nation and reinforces its status as a key player in the space industry.
As the satellite orbits above, it symbolizes the limitless possibilities that lie ahead and the dedication to continuous growth and exploration in the realm of space technology. In a speech delivered by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, he expressed his excitement and pride in witnessing the launch of the Penang1 satellite. He emphasized that this moment aligns perfectly with the vision of the Penang2030 initiative, a transformative roadmap aimed at shaping Penang into a smart, green, and inclusive state.
The launch of Penang1 propels the state closer to realizing its shared goals and establishes Penang as a leader in developing the space tech ecosystem. Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow commended ANGKASA-X for choosing Penang as the base for their business office and engineering center, recognizing Penang’s status as a frontrunner in technological innovation. He highlighted the collaboration between ANGKASA-X and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for talent development and technology transfer, leading to the establishment of the ASEAN SpaceTech Ecosystem and the construction of the Earth Station Farm and Space Technology Centre at USM.
The collaboration between ANGKASA-X and USM opens doors for scientific inquiry, technological innovation, and social development. It reinforces the importance of cooperation and collaboration in advancing knowledge and developing space technology. In a speech by Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), he congratulated the entire ANGKASA-X team on their achievement.
He emphasized the significance of this launch, showcasing Malaysia’s excellence in space technology and serving as an inspiration to scientists and engineers across the country. Prof. Abdul Rahman Mohamed expressed confidence in the collaboration between USM and ANGKASA-X, stating that it would pioneer opportunities and high-impact research projects. This collaboration will contribute to the development of advanced technologies and foster a culture of scientific excellence.
He acknowledged the potential for rapid growth and breakthroughs in the field of space technology through this partnership. As the A-SEANSAT-PG1 satellite embarks on its journey, Malaysians celebrate this momentous occasion and look forward to the limitless possibilities that lie ahead. The launch of this satellite, driven by ANGKASA-X’s innovative vision, marks a significant step towards a future where Malaysia and ASEAN countries play a leading role in space technology, ultimately benefiting society, governments, and businesses.