KiboCUBE: Teams from Mexico and Tunisia Selected for Sixth Round

National Research & Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

TOKYO — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) cooperate under the KiboCUBE program launched in 2015 to provide developing countries with opportunities to deploy CubeSats from the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” of the International Space Station (ISS).

JAXA and UNOOSA have selected teams from the Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla (UPAEP) of Mexico and the Private Higher School of Engineering and Applied Technology (ESPITA) of Tunisia for the sixth round of KiboCUBE program, which was open for applications from December 20, 2020 through May 31, 2021.

JAXA and UNOOSA also started an educational program titled “KiboCUBE Academy” in January 2021 to further promote capacity building on CubeSat development. (Reference No.2) Through KiboCUBE program, JAXA continues to contribute to the capacity building of space technology in developing countries and the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality education, Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth, Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, as well as the promotion of Kibo utilization.

KiboCUBE Sixth Round Selection Results


Satellite name: Gxiba-1
Selected Organization: Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla
Mission Overview: Monitoring the volcanic activities and the movement of volcanic ash by optical observation
Size: 1U (10cmx10cmx11.35cm, 1.3kg at a maximum mass)


Satellite name: TUNSAT1
Selected Organization: Private Higher School of Engineering and Applied Technology
Mission Overview: Image acquisition and communication technology demonstration
Size: 1U (10cmx10cmx11.35cm, 1.3kg at a maximum mass)

For More Information

Please visit UNOOSA Website for more detail of KiboCUBE Academy:


Shiho Ogawa, Director of JEM Utilization Center, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate said:

“I am very pleased to cooperate with UPAEP and ESPITA in Gxiba-1 and TUNISAT1 projects. I believe that this cooperation will further enhance the value of the KiboCUBE program and demonstrate the potential of “Kibo” which paves a way to space for developing countries. JAXA has contributed to the capacity building of countries in South East Asia, Central America, and Africa through the six rounds of KiboCUBE and the new educational opportunity titled “KiboCUBE Academy”. We continue to support developing countries or regions for the betterment of their space technology, through the broad network of UNOOSA and technology of JAXA including “Kibo”.

Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA said:

“Working together in advancing inclusion and diversity in space activities is paramount to leaving no one behind. The KiboCUBE programme under the Access to Space for All initiative symbolizes the common mission of UNOOSA and JAXA to expand the space community in a sustainable manner. I congratulate the winning teams and look forward to our joint effort in turning your dreams and ambitions into reality.”

Emilio Baños-Ardavín, President of UPAEP said:

“We are honored that our project Gxiba-1 has been accepted by JAXA and UNOOSA. This is a source of huge joy for Mexico and UPAEP’s community of professors and student to be able to launch our Cubesat to the space with your support. This is not only a great opportunity for Mexico to continue to develop its presence in space, but also to advance its educational efforts in space technology. Gxiba-1 is a fundamental first step in developing diverse techniques for the observation of active volcanoes surrounding highly populated cities. We thank you your efforts to foster this kind of initiatives all around the world.”

Aouinet Hana, ESPITA Engineering School Director and TUNSAT-1 Project Coordinator said:

“It is a great honour to be awarded the Kibocube satellite launch opportunity as the first North Africa country to qualify for this unique and amazing program. This is an opportunity for Tunisian students and researchers to contribute to the enhancement of Tunisia’s position as an emerging nation in the global space industry. Our goal is to make ESPITA engineering school one of the best African universities for the most brilliant and elite students in the field of space science and engineering, and to provide high world-class level training to qualify the next generation of engineers that will develop the local African space industry. I would like to thank all our partners in this project. We will continue promoting team work and national as well as international partnerships in the space sector to make history together and to realize unprecedented achievements for our country, region, continent and for the whole world.”