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January 17th, 2023
Indonesia deploys first student satellite through KiboCUBE programme

VIENNA – Indonesia has successfully deployed its first student satellite from the International Space Station (ISS) today. Students from Surya University constructed the SS-1 satellite as the awardee of the 3rd round of the KiboCUBE programme.

The KiboCUBE programme is a joint initiative by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) under the Access to Space for All initiative. The Satellite Development Track is part of the initiative and under this track, KiboCUBE enables teams from developing nations and economies in transition to develop and deploy 1U cube satellites (CubeSat) from the ISS.

This SS-1 CubeSat mission is a technology demonstration that will test communication between an Automatic Package Reporting System (APRS) payload and the ground using amateur radio frequency. Through the development and operation of SS-1, Surya University and the supporting organizations aim to disseminate nanosatellite technology in Indonesia, especially to students and universities. Given the full involvement of academia in this capacity-building process, the country hopes that the gained knowledge and experience will benefit future generations.

Surya Satellite-1 is the fifth CubeSat deployed into space under KiboCUBE in six years following satellites from Kenya, Guatemala, Mauritius, and Moldova. With this deployment, KiboCUBE has benefitted countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Latin American and Caribbean States. Three more awardees of the programme are currently developing their CubeSats to follow this success. UNOOSA and JAXA are preparing to extend the Memorandum of Agreement allowing more countries to apply for the KiboCUBE opportunity in the future.

Acting Director of UNOOSA Niklas Hedman said: “Congratulations to Surya University and the supporting team for this tremendous accomplishment. It is impressive how the team prevailed despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. We look forward to SS-1 realizing its mission and pushing forward the momentum. We are proud to work with JAXA on KiboCUBE as it continues bridging the space divide and shedding light on many countries that are working so hard to develop space capacities. We look forward to deepening our cooperation and providing more opportunities in the coming years.”

Director General of Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate at JAXA Hiroshi Sasaki said: “It is our pleasure that JAXA has successfully deployed Surya Satellite-1 from the Kibo module of the ISS. We would like to extend our respect to UNOOSA and Surya University for their efforts. Surya Satellite-1 has significant missions ahead including communication technology demonstration, to which I wish great success. We also wish the experience gained through the development and operation of Surya Satellite-1 will lead to the next steps of space activity in Indonesia, and we truly hope that we could collaborate with Indonesia again in the near future. Congratulations.”

Rector of Surya University Ms. Lindawati said: “We are pleased with the successful deployment of Surya Satellite 1 (SS-1) from the International Space Station. We hope for a smooth operation of SS-1 during its mission, so that it can be beneficial for many people, especially in Indonesia. Surya University also expresses our sincere gratitude to UNOOSA, JAXA, and other stakeholders and sponsors for this collaboration since we got awarded the KiboCUBE deployment opportunity in 2018. This is an important milestone for Surya University, as well as for Indonesia since this is the first nanosatellite program, which is technically designed and manufactured by undergraduate students from Surya University- Indonesia. We hope that this achievement can further trigger the development of a similar program by students, to benefit our communication and informatics field.