It's a first for the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala as their team prepares for the university's first satellite under the KiboCUBE program run by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
These are the winners of the second round of the program handed over the cube satellite (cubesat) to JAXA on December 3, 2019 to be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) in Spring 2020.
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.
KiboCUBE offers institutions from developing countries the opportunity to deploy cubesats from the Japanese Kibo module of the ISS.
In 2018, the program 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 KiboCUBE initiative, launched by UNOOSA and JAXA in 2015, introduces new entrants to the space sector leading to innovation and capacity building in the development and deployment of cubesats. The program is now in its fifth round, for which applications recently closed. The sixth round of KiboCUBE is expected to open soon.