TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) have been cooperating under the KiboCUBE programme launched in 2015 to provide opportunities to deploy CubeSats from the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” of the International Space Station (ISS).
JAXA and UNOOSA have selected a team from the Mauritius Research Council for the third round of KiboCUBE, which called for applications from September 26, 2017 to March 31, 2018. (Reference 1). Due to the large number of applications for the third round, UNOOSA and JAXA have agreed to find an additional opportunity for a second entity from the third round applicants. The selection will be announced in northern hemisphere fall timeframe in 2018.
Also, JAXA and UNOOSA have agreed to extend the KiboCUBE programme for three more years. (Reference 2). Through KiboCUBE cooperation programme, JAXA and UNOOSA aims to contribute to the enhancement of space related technology in the developing countries, by utilizing Kibo’s unique capability of CubeSat deployment system and UNOOSA’s vast network with UN member states.
JAXA will further enhance Kibo utilization through cooperation with UNOOSA. Furthermore, JAXA will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promote international cooperation in the field of space.
The announcement of the selection of third round of KiboCUBE and extension of the KiboCUBE cooperation programme took place using the opportunity of UNISPACE+50 (Reference 3).
Reference 1 — Selection of third round
- Name of Satellite: MIR-SAT1
- Selected Organization/Country: Mauritius Research Council/ Republic of Mauritius
- Mission Overview: Collecting images of Mauritius and surrounding regions using longwave infrared (LWIR) thermal camera, technology demonstration of S-band high speed data transmission and reaction wheel, and capacity building
- Size: 1U
- Deployment from Kibo: expected in 2019
In addition to the above entity, JAXA and OOSA will select a second entity for the third round.
Reference 2 — Extension of KiboCUBE collaboration programme
- Period: Extension from September 2018 to March 2021
- Scope: Fourth and fifth round of KiboCUBE / deployment of CubeSat (1U) from Kibo (number of selected entity will depend on the applications received)
- Roles and Responsibilites: Information for application will be issued by UNOOSA, and selection will be conducted by JAXA and UNOOSA.
Development and operation will be performed by the selected entity. JAXA will also provide technical support, conduct safety review, and will be responsible for the launch and deployment of CubeSat.
[Reference 3] About UNISPACE+50
UNOOSA website: UNISPACE+50
JAXA Press Release (September 8, 2015)
“Collaboration between JAXA and UNOOSA to Offer Small Satellite Deployment Opportunity from Kibo to Contribute to Developing Countries to Improve Space Technology”