Joel Joseph Marciano Jr. to head new Philippine Space Agency

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte swears into office the newly-appointed government officials during the oath-taking ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on January 8, 2020. VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Joel Joseph Marciano Jr., formerly Director of the Philippines’ Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), has officially been appointed Director General of the newly-created Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).

Before his position as Director, Marciano was Program Leader, Development of Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-MICROSAT), which has so far launched the Philippines’ only indigenous two satellites – Diwata-1 (launched 2016) and Diwata-2 (2018). The satellite program was initiated under the purview of DOST-ASTI, which has so far been responsible for space research in the Philippines. Marciano, who is trained in telecommunications and electronics, was also previously responsible for radio communication in disaster management, one of the key areas which the new space agency is expected to focus on.

The country’s space agency PhilSA was officially formalized in the Philippine Space Act, which was signed into law on 8 August 2019. The agency, which will centralize all Philippine space research and activities, will be located at a 30-hectare site at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga and Tarlac, a trade zone that was previously a US air base. PhilSA’s main complex is expected to be completed by 2022, and will leave enough room to potentially build a launch site.

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