VIENNA,10 June (UN Information Service) – The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have selected a team from theNational Centre of Space Technologies of Technical University of Moldova as winners of the fourth round of the UNOOSA-JAXA KiboCUBE programme.
The KiboCUBE programme was launched in 2015 by UNOOSA and JAXA to offer educational and research institutions from developing countries the opportunity to develop cube satellites (1U CubeSats) for deployment from the International Space Station (ISS). TheNational Centre of Space Technologies of Technical University of Moldova is the latest successful candidate to participate in this capacity-building initiative.
Through KiboCUBE, theMoldovan team will be able to deploy their first satellite “TUMnanoSat”. The primary objective for “TUMnanoSat” is to provide hands-on practical training to the students participating in the project. Scientific and research objectives include testing the CubeSat sensors, as well as the communication link for the CubeSat. With an on-board camera, the CubeSat will aim to capture Earth images as a step forward for Moldova toward eventually developing its own Earth observation satellite.
The Moldovan team will join the ranks of distinguished winners from the past rounds of KiboCube, namely the University of Nairobi,Kenya; Universidad del Valle de Guatemala; the Mauritius Research Council and a team from Surya University in Indonesia.
UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo commented: “The UNOOSA-JAXA KiboCUBE partnership is a great example of a triangular capacity-building initiative, where UNOOSA partners with a space-faring nation to assist non-space-faring nations develop their space technology. KiboCUBE is a pioneer project of UNOOSA under the “Access to Space For All” initiative, which offers a range of orbital and research opportunities. I am very proud that our partnership with JAXA on this programme has now reached its fourth round. My congratulations to theNational Centre of Space Technologies of the Technical University of Moldova. I look forward to seeing the development and deployment of the first Moldovan satellite under the auspices of the UN.”
Director General, Human Spaceflight Technology, JAXA, Koichi Wakata commented: “I am very pleased that the National Center of Space Technologies of the University of Moldova has been selected for the fourth round of the KiboCUBE programme and that JAXA, in cooperation with UNOOSA, will be part of the team effort to develop and deploy the first Moldovan satellite from the Kibo module on the ISS. It is exciting to see that KiboCUBE has developed into a sustainable program contributing to the advancement of space technology in multiple space emerging nations. With the help of UNOOSA’s extensive network across space emerging countries, we at JAXA are committed to fully utilize our technical competence and Kibo’s unique capabilities for the development of space technology in space emerging countries that do not have launching capabilities.”
Rector of the Technical University of Moldova Viorel Bostan commented: “On behalf of the academic community of the Technical University of Moldova I want to express my gratitude and thank you for JAXA and UNOOSA support of our TUMnanoSAT project elaborated at National Centre for Space Technologies at TUM. This project will include the deployment in space of the first satellite from the Republic of Moldova in the framework of the KiboCUBE programme under the auspices of UNOOSA and JAXA. It will have a major impact in enhancing the quality of engineering studies based on modern space technologies, in attracting young students to develop and strengthen the scientific research in the field of space exploration and in the integration of the Republic of Moldova into the community of countries that develop space technologies. It will also increase the participation of our researchers in the development of future partnerships, including the common use of our ground infrastructure.”