ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - News ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - News
SELECTED FOR KIBOCUBE

1KUNS, the first Kenyan cubesat

It's called 1KUNS, and it's the first proposal for a small satellite developed by an African country selected by the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

It's called 1KUNS - 1st University NanoSatellite Precursor Flight, and it's the first proposal for a small satellite developed by an African country, Kenya, selected by the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to benefit from the opportunity to be launched by the Japanese “Kibo” module in the International Space Station (ISS), as part of the “KiboCube” program (click here). 

1KUNS, an extension of “IKUNS - Italian-Kenyan University NanoSatellite”, is a project run by the University of Nairobi in collaboration with “La Sapienza” University of Rome and the Italian Space Agency, and is part of the projects initiated in 2015 between ASI and “La Sapienza” under the Convention for managing activities at the Broglio Space Centre in Malindi (Kenya). IKUNS will involve developing a cubesat for Earth Observation and technological testing. 

Simone Pirrotta, Program Manager for the 1KUNS project, commented that: “The selection of 1KUNS-PF for the KiboCube program confirms that the international collaboration scheme set up, ASI's coordination of an Italian university team with a lot of experience with a foreign, emerging country's team is very promising and competitive. The project will now move into the detail definition phase, then onto development and testing, ready for delivering the cubesat in 2018.” 

Italy and Kenya have a long tradition of collaboration in the space sector, which had been limited for a long time to simply using an area of land”, added Gabriella Arrigo, ASI International Relations Manager. “Therefore, starting a new cooperation process on a new partnership basis and developing our first orbiting object, even if small sized, shows a real commitment to the future of the Italian presence not just in Kenya, but in Africa.” 

She continued: “It is not by chance that African countries were the first to respond enthusiastically to the invitation from the ministerial International Space Forum, to be held on 23 and 24 October in Trento, organised by IAF, IAA and ASI, to which space ministers from 80 countries have been invited to discuss training and university activities in the space sector.”