The Japan space agency’s BIRDS project has launched university student-built CubeSats from the Kibo module on the International Space Station for several countries that have never before put spacecraft into orbit. The project is managed by the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) and is known officially as the Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite project.

A view of the BIRDS-2 deployment as seen by German astronaut Alexander Gerst.

Birds-1 deployed scientific and technology demonstration CubeSats from Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Japan while BIRDS-2 deployed CubeSats for Bhutan, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

This video, narrated mostly in Japanese but with English subtitles, describes the Birds project and shows the two deployment events. An animation between 11:10 – 14:30 gives a clear depiction of how the ISS satellite deployment system works.



Another image of the BIRDS-2 deployment from Alexander Gerst on Twitter.

A JAXA project apparently separate from BIRDS also deployed spacecraft for three countries that are newbies to orbital hardware:

The three BIRDS-2 cubesats head into orbit. Alexander Gerst on Twitter