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Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow witnesses the historic launching of PG-1 with the countdown broadcasted live from the launch site in Russia to Dewan Persidangan at Universiti Sains Malaysia. – Pic courtesy of Buletin Mutiara, June 29, 2023

GEORGE TOWN – Penang’s reputation as the “Silicon Valley of the East” has been reinforced following the launch of a mini-telecommunications satellite named PG-1 after the state into outer space recently.

With it, Penang now has its own satellite feed orbiting outer space with the capacity to provide faster internet connectivity to the broadband networks here.

It will also bridge the digital access gap between rural and urban localities.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow witnessed the historic launching of the satellite with the countdown broadcasted live from the launch site in Russia to Dewan Persidangan at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

USM will host PG-1’s earth station through a proficient team of designers, ICT specialists, academicians, and space engineering students.

PG-1 can also monitor the state’s landscape and in the future may offer warnings of natural calamities in the event of how severe the weather patterns have become due to climate change.

PG-1 was designed solely by Malaysians under the management of Angkasa-X.

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Officially named Seansat- PG1, the homegrown satellite propels space technology development in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. – Pic courtesy of Buletin Mutiara, June 29, 2023

The homegrown satellite – officially named Seansat- PG1 – propels space technology development in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

Chow spoke of how important this milestone is to Penang’s quest to be a global-class intelligent city by 2030 in line with its Vision 2030.

The launch was broadcasted live across four locations in Malaysia – USM in Penang, Malaysian Space Agency (Mysa) headquarters and GreenPro Capital office in Kuala Lumpur, as well as Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation Bhd in Kuching, Sarawak.

The live broadcast was streamed from the Russian Vostochny Cosmodrome – witnessed by Chow and Mysa director-general Azlikamil Napiah.

In a statement, Angkasa-X said that the team leading this maiden satellite launch are group executive director and chief operating officer William Lim and group chief technology officer Norhizam Hamzah along with the engineering team.

With the launch of the PG-1 satellite, Angkasa-X will leverage its technological know-how to lead the way as part of its innovative satellite-as-a-service (SaaS) offering to create constellations of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites along the equator, designed in Malaysia by locals.

These LEO satellites will work together to achieve the company’s visionary initiatives by providing affordable remote-sensing services and revolutionising internet-connectivity services to millions in the region, particularly within the rural areas in Asia and bridging the digital divide.

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USM students watch the live broadcast of PG-1’s official launch from its launch site in Russia. – Pic courtesy of Buletin Mutiara, June 29, 2023

“The launch of PG-1 or Penang-1 satellite is a momentous occasion for Malaysia, propelling us towards a new era of technological advancement and establishing our position in the global SpaceTech ecosystem.

“I’m pleased to say that Malaysia is the first country in Southeast Asia to design, assemble and launch homegrown LEO satellites,” said Chow.

Meanwhile, Angkasa-X group executive chairman and chief executive officer Sean Seah said, “It marks an extraordinary milestone for Angkasa X and our dedicated team of Malaysian engineers.

“It exemplifies the incredible talent and their brilliant engineering skills coupled with their relentless pursuit of innovation to propel the space economy in the Asean context.”

He further emphasised the importance of this maiden launch, stating, “Connectivity is a necessity for the betterment of mankind.

Chow also lauded the collaborative efforts between Angkasa-X, USM, the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology, state and federal government agencies, academia, and industry partners in realising the project.

Among the dignitaries present were state executive councillors Zairil Khir Johari, Datuk Abdul Halim Hussein and USM vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamed. – The Vibes, June 29, 2023