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Universidad del Valle de Guatemala is ready to deploy Guatemala’s first satellite under UNOOSA-JAXA KiboCUBE Programme

Deployment of a CubeSat from the ISS. Photo: NASA/JAXA

The team from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala have completed the development of their first satellite under the KiboCUBE programme run by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The winners of the second round of the programme handed over the cube satellite (cubesat) to JAXA on 3 December 2019 to be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) in Spring 2020.

KiboCUBE offers institutions from developing countries the opportunity to deploy cubesats from the Japanese Kibo module of the ISS. In 2018, the programme led to the successful deployment of Kenya’s first ever satellite. Now Guatemala is set to follow Kenya’s footsteps, joining the community of space-faring nations.

The Guatemalan satellite, called Quetzal-1, will be used for multispectral remote sensing. This can lead to the acquisition of data for a variety of peaceful and natural resource management purposes. The sustainable management of natural resources and the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity are essential for fighting climate change and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The KiboCUBE initiative was launched by UNOOSA and JAXA in 2015. It has since been opening doors for new entrants to the space sector leading to innovation and capacity building in the development and deployment of cubesats. The programme is now in its 5th round, for which applications recently closed. The 6th round of KiboCUBE is expected to open soon.

Further information about KiboCUBE is available at: http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/hsti/kibocube.html

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