PRESS RELEASES

For information only - not an official document

UNIS/OS/541     

10 September 2020

Winner of 5th round of the KiboCUBE programme to deploy a satellite from the International Space Station announced and opening of 6th round

VIENNA, 10 December (United Nations Information Service) - The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are continuing their cooperation on the KiboCUBE programme, which provides developing countries with the opportunity to deploy a cube satellite from the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" of the International Space Station (ISS).

A team from the Central American Integration System (SICA) have been selected as the winners of the fifth round, marking the first time an international organization wins KiboCUBE. SICA's Member States are Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.  The winning team, which brings together participants from several SICA countries, will develop a cube satellite called MORAZAN-SAT, of 10x10x10 cm size and 1.3kg weight, for capacity building and technology demonstration purposes.

UNOOSA and JAXA renewed  their cooperation until 2024 and opened the 6 th round of KiboCUBE at the World Space Forum, organized by UNOOSA and the UAE Space Agency. The programme is now accepting applications:  https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/hsti/kibocube.html

UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo said: "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. 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."

Shiho Ogawa, Director of JEM Utilization Center, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate at JAXA, said: "It is our delight to have a chance to support the Central American countries through the MORAZAN-SAT project by SICA. This cooperation reconfirms the value of the KiboCUBE programme and of "Kibo" itself as a gateway for developing countries to utilize space. Through the past five rounds, JAXA has contributed to building capacities in countries in South East Asia, Central America, and Africa. Through this programme, we continue supporting non-space faring countries or regions for the betterment of their space technology."

Vinicio Cerezo, Secretary General of SICA and former President of Guatemala, said: "We are pleased to have been selected by JAXA and UNOOSA as winners of the fifth round of the KiboCUBE programme. This is the result of the progress we are making in the Central American region to further develop science, technology and innovation. The sky is no longer the limit for Central America: with the use of geospatial tools, we have a great potential to transform the living conditions of our population and strengthen national governance by making policy decisions based on science."

Carlos Enrique Alvarado, Morazan Project Coordinator, said: "We are honoured 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 due to 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."

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For further information, please contact:

Ottavia Pesce  
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) 
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-8718 
Email: pesce[at]un.org

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