New Space and Tech

KiboCUBE: United Nations/Japan Program on CubeSat Deployment from the ISS Kibo Module

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
September 8, 2015
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KiboCUBE: United Nations/Japan Program on CubeSat Deployment from the ISS Kibo Module
Cubesat Deployment from ISS

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are pleased to announce the United Nations/Japan Cooperation Programme on CubeSat Deployment from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) “KiboCUBE”.
KiboCUBE is the dedicated collaboration between UNOOSA and JAXA in utilizing the ISS Kibo for the world. KiboCUBE aims to provide educational or research institutions from developing countries of United Nations membership with opportunities to deploy, from the ISS Kibo, cube satellites (CubeSats) which they develop and manufacture.

Currently, the only way to deploy CubeSats from the ISS is from Kibo. Kibo’s unique capability is comprised of an airlock system and a robotic arm. The first orbital deployment of CubeSats from Kibo was successfully conducted in October 2012 through the Small Satellite Orbital Deployer developed by JAXA. Since then, nano-satellites and CubeSats from various countries around the world have been deployed from Kibo.

The deployment of CubeSats from ISS is easier than the direct deployment by a launch vehicle thanks to the lower vibration environment during launch. With this comparatively less demanding interface requirements, UNOOSA and JAXA believe that KiboCUBE will lower the threshold of space activities and will contribute to build national capacity in spacecraft engineering, design and construction.

UNOOSA and JAXA are looking forward to many applications!!


Announcement of Opportunity (.pdf)
Application Form (.doc)
CubeSat Design Specification” developed by the California Institute of Technology
Guidance on Space Object Registration and Frequency Management for Small and Very Small Satellites
Technical Presentation by the Japanese Delegation: At the 58th Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
Video: “Deployment from Kibo” (provided by MEXT/JAXA)

The above application form, FULLY COMPLETED, should be sent by postal mail, to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 500, A 1400 Vienna, Austria, no later than 31 March 2016. Please also e-mail the original e-file in MS WORD (.doc) and scanned Applicant’s Certification page as pdf-file (.pdf) to

After receipt, UNOOSA and JAXA will proceed to evaluate each application. At UNOOSA’s or JAXA’s sole discretion, additional information may be requested from applicants, if necessary, to assist in the evaluation of the application. Selected applicants will then be notified with the results of the selection process. All awards are final, are made at the sole discretion of UNOOSA and JAXA, and not subject to challenge or review.


For further information regarding KiboCUBE, please contact

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.