For information only - not an official document

18 January 2018

The University of Nairobi hands over the first KiboCUBE CubeSat to JAXA under UNOOSA-JAXA KiboCUBE Programme

VIENNA/TOKYO, 18 January (United Nations Information Service) - The first CubeSat developed under the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)-Japan KiboCUBE Programme has been handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in preparation for its deployment from the International Space Station (ISS). KiboCUBE is an initiative that offers educational and research institutions from developing countries the opportunity to deploy cube satellites (CubeSats) from the Kibo module of the International Space Station.

On January 16, the team from the University of Nairobi, which was selected in 2016 for the first round of KiboCUBE, handed over to JAXA the satellite it has developed, known as "1KUNS-PF", or "First Kenyan University Nano Satellite-Precursor Flight". The handover took place at the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center. 1KUNS-PF will launch to the ISS around March 2018, and it is expected that it will be deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) of the ISS with a robotic arm during the northern hemisphere spring.

"The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is very proud of its partnership with JAXA to provide access to space for developing countries through the innovative KiboCUBE programme. This handover ceremony from the University of Nairobi is a significant step in the first round of this programme, and I look forward the next milestones in this exciting initiative. The KiboCUBE Programme is bound to become a model of collaboration between UNOOSA and its partners to develop the capabilities of developing nations in accessing and using the benefits of space science and technology," said UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo.

"I am pleased that the small satellite "1 KUNS-PF" developed by the University of Nairobi of the Republic of Kenya, which was jointly selected by UNOOSA and JAXA as the first KiboCUBE, was successfully handed over to JAXA. At JAXA, we are committed to making every effort to prepare for the successful deployment of the Republic of Kenya's first satellite utilizing the unique capability of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" on the International Space Station," said JAXA ISS Program Manager Koichi Wakata.

The KiboCUBE initiative was launched in 2015 as a capacity-building initiative by UNOOSA and JAXA. After the selection of the team from the University of Nairobi for the first round, a team from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala was selected for the second round, and they are currently developing their satellite. Applications for the third round of KiboCUBE are now open and close on 31 March 2018.


Further information about the United Nations/Japan Cooperation Programme on CubeSat Deployment from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo), "KiboCUBE", is available at:

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For more information, please contact:

Daria  Brankin 
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) 
Telephone: (+43 1) 26060 8718
Email: daria.brankin[at]