For information only – not an official document

12 August 2022

Moldova deploys first satellite from International Space Station through KiboCUBE programme

VIENNA, 12 August (United Nations Information Service) — The Republic of Moldova successfully deployed its first satellite from the International Space Station (ISS) today.  This achievement was made possible with the support of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) under the KiboCUBE programme. The programme is part of the Access to Space for All initiative and enables teams from developing nations and economies in transition to develop and deploy cube satellites (CubeSat) from the ISS.  

The cube satellite TUMnanoSAT was constructed by the Technical University of Moldova (TUM) selected in the 4th round of KiboCUBE. The primary objective of the mission is technology demonstration in various modules and subsystems of the CubeSat. It will test the behaviour of sensors and gain experience with satellite communications, solar electric power management and the endurance of electronic components.

Through the development and operation of TUMnanoSAT, TUM hopes to attract young people in Moldova to pursue STEM education and to strengthen scientific research in the field of space. Successful mission results could lead to further advancement of space activities in the country in support of socio-economic development.

TUMnanoSAT is the fourth CubeSat to make it to space through KiboCUBE in five years, following satellites from Kenya, Guatemala, and Mauritius. Awardees from other institutions are also progressing well in their projects, making the partners hopeful that the launch of another KiboCUBE satellite is just around the corner.

UNOOSA Acting Director Niklas Hedman said: "We are excited to see the first Moldovan satellite deployed to space, an accomplishment that the team from TUM has worked so hard for. This would not have been possible without the endless support of JAXA. We are grateful that, together, we are bridging the capabilities gap in the sector. We hope to see many more rounds in the future so that we can jointly offer this unique opportunity to more countries. As this experience sparks the promise of more space-related activities in Moldova, be assured that UNOOSA stands ready to support you.”

JAXA Director General of Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, SASAKI Hiroshi, said: “It is my pleasure that JAXA successfully deployed the first satellite of Moldova, TUMnanoSAT, from the Kibo module of the ISS. We are honored to play a role in the feat of Moldova joining the space-faring community and would like to extend our respect to UNOOSA and the TUM for their efforts. TUMnanoSAT has significant missions ahead, including technology demonstration of various sensors, to which I wish great success. We wish the experience of development and operation of TUMnanoSAT will lead to the next steps of Moldovan space activity, and we truly hope that we can collaborate with Moldova again in the near future. Congratulations!”

Bostan Viorel, professor and rector of TUM said: “The launch into space of Moldova’s nanosatellite TUMnanoSAT designed and manufactured at the Technical University of Moldova represents the first national and institutional space experience. This major achievement highlights the valuable human potential of the Technical University of Moldova proving that engineering is a promising field that can be studied at home and thus contributing to the development of Moldova’s space science and technology, both for the benefit of the academic community and the whole country”.

* *** *

For more information, please contact:

Access to Space for All Initiative Team

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)