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June 6th, 2023
New Kibocube opportunity announced by UNOOSA and JAXA

IENNA (United Nations Information Service) – There is another opportunity for teams from space-emerging countries to develop, launch and deploy a One Unit (1U) Cube Satellite (CubeSat) from the International Space Station Japanese Experiment Module Kibo. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have opened the eighth round of applications for the United Nations/Japan Cooperation Programme on CubeSat Deployment from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module “KiboCUBE”. UNOOSA and JAXA have also extended the agreement between the parties until 2030 to provide more rounds for KiboCUBE.

KiboCUBE is part of the Satellite Development Track of UNOOSA’s Access to Space for All initiative and was launched in 2015. Since then, teams from Kenya, Guatemala, Mauritius, Moldova, and Indonesia have successfully launched their satellites, an achievement that has supported their national capacity-building efforts and the contribution of space to socioeconomic development. Three additional teams from the Central American Integration System (SICA), Mexico, and Tunisia are currently developing their CubeSats for future deployment.

Interested teams can submit applications for the opportunity on UNOOSA’s KiboCUBE Rounds webpage until 31 December 2023. To assist potential applicants the KiboCUBE Academy, offers webinars during the application phase.

Acting Director of UNOOSA Niklas Hedman said: “The KiboCUBE family has been steadily growing since the inception of this transformative capacity-building venture. KiboCUBE not only allows teams to acquire skills needed to develop a satellite, but it also provides the opportunity for countries to gain experience in space law instruments, which are essential to becoming a true spacefaring nation. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to JAXA without whom this opportunity would not be possible. I strongly encourage teams from nations who have not yet had the chance to access space to apply to KiboCUBE and take advantage of this valuable opportunity.”

Director of the Kibo Utilization Center, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate of JAXA Masaki Shirakawa said: “We are pleased to continue the historic KiboCUBE programme by opening a new round with our long-standing partner UNOOSA. Although small in its size, CubeSats have a big potential as a first step to developing space technology. Continuing from the last round, we will offer a variety of content aiming at helping potential applicants to deepen their understanding of the basic knowledge of satellite development through KiboCUBE Academy, a series of webinars and interactive sessions by professional lecturers. We hope this will be useful to anyone interested in applying. Lastly, we would like to thank UNOOSA for their continued support and look forward to receiving many applications.”