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Successful deployment of six CubeSats delivered by KOUNOTORI6

Last Updated: January 16, 2017

On January 16, 2017, from 6:10 p.m. - 7:50 p.m. (Japan time), a total of six microsatellites were successfully deployed into orbit from the Japanese Experiment Module ("Kibo").

The series of deployments was conducted in the following order.

First: three 1U-sized CubeSats, each developed by University of Tsukuba (ITF-2), Waseda University (WASEDA-SAT3), and Nakashimata Engineering Works, Ltd./Tohoku University (FREEDOM)

Second: A 3U-sized CubeSat by the University of Tokyo (EGG)

Third: A 2U-sized CubeSat co-developed by Kyushu Institute of Technology and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (AOBA-Velox III)

Last: A 3U-sized CubeSat, TuPOD (containing two microsatellites called TubeSats) co-developed by JAMSS/GAUSS/Tancred elementary school and INPE (Brazil)/OSN (U.S.)

Photo: Click to enlarge Photo: Click to enlarge
Photo: Click to enlarge Photo: Click to enlarge
Deployments of CubeSats (Credit:JAXA/NASA)

At the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC), the personnel concerned monitored and applauded the successful deployments.

Photo: Click to enlarge

Personnel concerned monitoring the deployments (Credit:JAXA)

The CubeSats deployed this time are the following:

List of CubeSats

These CubeSats were launched on December 9 aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI6 and arrived at the ISS on December 14 alongside STARS-C CubeSat that has already been deployed.


J-SSOD having the deployment capacity of up to 12U (Credit:JAXA)

For the series of deployments, an upgraded JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) featuring doubled deployment capacity at one time was used for the first time.

J-SSOD consists of four Satellite Install Cases. One case can contain up to three CubeSats (3U in total) and can deploy up to a total of 12U at one time.

CubeSat specification currently requires users to make satellites any one of the following sizes: 1U, 2U, or 3U. By flexibly combining different sizes of CubeSats, it can maximize the number of deployable CubeSats at one time.

*About CubeSats:

CubeSat is a microsatellite whose basic size is 10 cubic cm (called 1U), with 2U (20 cm in height) and 3U (30 cm in height) sizes also being available. JAXA's J-SSOD was made in compliance with the CubeSat specification and can deploy a total of 12U at one deployment opportunity. In the near future, the deployment capacity of J-SSOD will be upgraded up to 48U.

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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