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SMi Global MilSatCom 2018  IET Satcoms 2018

Selection of service provider for small satellite deployment from Kibo

(29 May 2018 - JAXA) JAXA has selected Space BD and Mitsui to provide small satellite deployment services from Kibo on the International Space Station.

In line with its “Kibo Utilization Strategy” JAXA intends to promote the private sector's participation in the Kibo module. These two companies were selected as service providers for small satellite deployment activities in the first phase of the strategy.

In 2012, JAXA developed the Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) for deploying small satellite missions from the ISS using two systems - the Robot Arm and Kibo Airlock. As of the end of May 2018, JAXA has successfully deployed more than 200 small satellites from Kibo, including deployment opportunities for the United States as well.

The market of small satellites is expected to further expand globally. JAXA has, to date, provided fee-based services on its own. JAXA expects that Space BD and Mitsui will provide unique services based on their original ideas to both domestic and international markets, and thus further expand the demand for small satellite deployment. As a result, the utilization of Kibo and low Earth orbits will also increase.