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JAXA Selects Central American Team for KiobCUBE Fifth Round, Extends Program with UNOOSA for Sixth Round

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
January 24, 2021
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Successful deployment of 1KUNS-PF (Kenyan Satellite, selected as first round of KiboCUBE) from Kibo in May, 2018. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — 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 (JEM) Kibo of the International Space Station (ISS).

JAXA and OOSA have selected a team from the Central American Integration System (SICA), for the fifth round of KiboCUBE program, which called for applications from March 26, 2019 to September 30, 2019. It is the first time to select international organization in this program.

Satellite NameMORÁZAN-SAT
Selected Organization/CountryCentral American Integration System (SICA)
SICA MembersBelize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
Mission Overview:Capacity building and technology demonstration (weather data acquisition, emergency alert demo for natural disasters)
Size: 1U: 10 x 10 x 11.35 cm
Maximum Mass: 1.3 kg

“I am very pleased to be able to contribute to the development of the Central American countries through MORÁZAN-SAT project by SICA. This cooperation will further enhance the value of the KiboCUBE program and make a way to space for developing countries,” said Shiho Ogawa, Director of JAXA’s JEM Utilization Center.

“JAXA has contributed to the capacity building of countries in South East Asia, Central America, and Africa through the past five rounds in this program,” Ogawa added. “We continue the support to non-space faring countries or regions for the betterment of their space technology, through the broad network of UNOOSA and technology of JAXA including Kibo.”

JAXA contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality education, Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth, Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure through this program, along with the promotion of Kibo utilization.

“The KiboCUBE programme is an essential component of our Access to Space 4 All Initiative, that offers a range of opportunities to make space exploration truly inclusive,” said UNOOSA director Simonetta Di Pippo. “We are excited to see KiboCUBE continuing to break glass ceilings in the space sector.

“The selection of this team, which brings together several Central American countries, shows how important international collaboration is to advance space capabilities. We are confident this satellite will make a difference for the future of space exploration in the region,” she added.

JAXA and UNOOSA jointly selected the project.

“We are honored and excited to receive the support from JAXA and UNOOSA in this historic endeavor. The Central American region will face important challenges during the upcoming decades under the effects of climate change that will require the development of space capacities. Morazan Project will contribute to this goal and will demonstrate the value of international cooperation,” said Moranzan Project Coordinator Carlos Enrique Alvarado.

JAXA and UNOOSA have agreed to extend the KiboCUBE program until the end of December 2024 and opened the sixth round of KiboCUBE. Through KiboCUBE cooperation program, JAXA and UNOOSA aim to contribute to the capacity building of space related technology in the developing countries.

KiboCUBES Roles and Responsibilities

UNOOSA– Promotion of this cooperation program through the network of UNOOSA
– Issuance of information for application, etc.
JAXA– Technical support, launch and deployment of CubeSat
– Holding technical webinars for capacity building of developing countries, etc.
UNOOSA & JAXAProject selection
Selected entity– Development and operation of Cubesat

Announcement of Opportunity for Sixth Round of KiboCUBE:

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