UNOOSA and JAXA open fourth round of KiboCUBE

UNOOSA and JAXA open fourth round of KiboCUBE

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US: The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have announced the opening of the fourth round of the KiboCUBE programme.

KiboCUBE was launched in September 2015 as a capacity-building initiative between UNOOSA and JAXA to offer developing countries the opportunity to develop cube satellites (CubeSats) and deploy them from the Japanese Kibo module of the International Space Station (ISS).

On May 11, 2018, the first CubeSat developed under the KiboCUBE programme, created by a team from the University of Nairobi, was successfully deployed from the International Space Station. In June 2018, UNOOSA and JAXA decided to extend this important partnership for three more years, aiming to contribute to the enhancement of space technology in developing countries.

“At UNOOSA we are very proud of our partnership with JAXA and our joint KiboCUBE initiative. KiboCUBE is a key part of our activities to give developing countries access to space and its benefits. I appreciate JAXA’s continued support in this programme and I look forward to seeing the exciting projects that will emerge from this fourth round” said Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA, yesterday.

“JAXA is proud to extend this historic programme in cooperation with UNOOSA for three more years. We are proud of the successful past three rounds and it is our pleasure to keep providing opportunities to emerging space countries. I am confident that this coming fourth round will also open doors for exciting future endeavors.” said Koichi Wakata, Vice President of JAXA.

Applications for the fourth round of the KiboCUBE programme are open to educational or research institutions from developing countries that are United Nations Member States. Applications will be open from today for a period of four months and close on 31 January 2019.

A team from the University of Nairobi successfully deployed their CubeSat named “1 KUNS-PF” from the Japanese Experiment Module, International Space Station, on 11 May 2018, as Kenya’s first satellite. It is being used to test technologies developed for the future launch of a larger earth observation satellite and collect data for monitoring agriculture and coastal areas.

A team from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala was selected for the second round of KiboCUBE, and plans to use its CubeSat to test equipment for monitoring the concentration of harmful cyanobacteria (algae blooms) over inland bodies of water.

A team from the Mauritius Research Council was selected for the third round of KiboCUBE and will collect thermal infrared images of Mauritius and its surrounding areas with the CubeSat.

A team from Surya University, Indonesia was additionally selected for the third round of KiboCUBE. The Indonesian team plans to develop a CubeSat with an Automatic Package Reporting System that transmits messages to ground stations and allows two-way communication for educational and disaster mitigation purposes. This is the first time a satellite is planned for this use within the KiboCUBE programme.