Satnews Daily
September 29th, 2017

UNOOSA Announces the Third Round Open for JAXA KiboCUBE Initiative and SNC is a Partner

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

Illustration of JAXA's KiboCUBE.

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

Applications for the third round of the KiboCUBE initiative are open to educational or research institutions from developing and emerging countries that are United Nations Member States. Applications close on March 31, 2018.

A team from the University of Nairobi was the successful candidate in the first round of KiboCUBE and is developing its CubeSat to test technologies it has developed for the future launch of a larger Earth Observation satellite. The team also intends to apply data acquired from its CubeSat deployment for monitoring of 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.

The mission of UNOOSA is to promote international cooperation in the use of outer space to achieve development goals for the benefit of humankind. There is no better example of UNOOSA’s vision ‘to bring the benefits of space to humankind’ by showing space’s importance in the realization and implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as shown in this figure.

Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA, indicated that at UNOOSA, the organization is proud of the partnership with JAXA and the joint KiboCUBE initiative. KiboCUBE is a key part of UNOOSA's activities to give developing and emerging countries access to space and its benefits.

Additionally, UNOOSA is partnering with the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to offer United Nations Member States the opportunity to participate in an orbital space mission using SNC's Dream Chaser® space vehicle.

The mission will be open to all Member States of the United Nations and developing countries are particularly encouraged to participate. The mission will carry experiments, payloads, or satellites provided by institutions in the participating countries.

The purpose of this Call for Interest (CFI) is to provide a summary of the proposed mission and to solicit information from Member States interested in providing experiments, payloads, or satellites that could be flown on this mission. The CFI also has the objective of gathering information on the interested countries so that UNOOSA may better understand the demand for this type of mission.

This mission will be the first space mission devoted to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals.