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.
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.
- “GhanaSat1” (Ghana), “Mazaalai” (Mongolia), “Edusat1” (Nigeria), “BRAC Onnesha” (Bangladesh), “TOKI” (Japan)
- Launched to the ISS via SpaceX Dragon CRS-11 cargo mission on June 4, 2017.
- Deployed into orbit on July 7, 2017.
- Successful deployment of five “BIRDS project” CubeSats from the “Kibo”:Experiment – International Space Station – JAXA
- “BHUTAN-1” (Bhutan), “MAYA-1 (the Philippines)” and “UiTMSAT-1” (Malaysia).
- Launched to the ISS via SpaceX Dragon CRS-15 cargo mission on June 29, 2018.
- Deployed into orbit on August 11, 2018.
- BIRDS-2 CubeSats in Orbit – BIRDS-2
A JAXA project apparently separate from BIRDS also deployed spacecraft for three countries that are newbies to orbital hardware:
- “1KUNS-PF” (Kenya), “UBAKUSAT” (Turkey), “Irazu” (Costa Rica)
- Deployed on May 11, 2018
- Three CubeSats successfully deployed from “Kibo”!:Experiment – JAXA
- BIRDS project.
- Joint Global Multi Nation Birds（Birds Satellite Project) – Kyutech – June 29 2016 (pdf)
- CubeSat – Wikipedia
- NanoRacks – A US company, which has a contract with JAXA to use the Kibo module and airlock, has deployed nearly 200 satellites from the ISS.