GEORGE TOWN: Penangites can look forward to faster Internet connectivity to the island’s broadband networks – in both rural and urban areas – after the state placed its own satellite in space.

It was a historic moment for Penang as Angkasa-X, the homegrown space tech company, launched its maiden satellite -- A-seansat-PG1 (PG1).

PG-1 can also monitor the state’s terrain and issue warnings of natural disasters and severe weather pattern diversions due to climate change.

The launch was streamed live from Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia, across four locations – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in George Town, Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation Bhd in Kuching and the Malaysian Space Agency headquarters and GreenPro Capital office in Kuala Lumpur.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who witnessed the historic moment at USM, said the launch of PG1 was extremely significant to the state.

“It symbolises our (Penang’s) commitment to continuous growth and exploration in space technology,” he said.

Chow said there were limitless possibilities ahead as the state strove for excellence, innovation and progress.

“The sky is no longer the limit,” he was quoted as saying by state publisher Buletin Mutiara.

He also said the first satellite was aptly named after the state of Penang, adding that it showcased the ability of a homegrown company in leading the way in developing the space tech ecosystem.

Angkasa-X’s satellite, he said, was designed in Malaysia by Malaysians.

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

Also at the launch of the satellite were state transport and infrastructure committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari, state entrepreneurial development, trade and industry committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, USM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Mohamed, Angkasa-X mission and systems engineering director Zulkifli Abdul Aziz and other invited guests.