Apply to UNOOSA and Exolaunch’s EXOpod First Round Opportunity

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The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Exolaunch GmbH (Exolaunch) have announced an exciting opportunity for government organisations, research institutions, universities, and other public and non-profit organisations to deploy CubeSats into space.

This initiative, part of the Access to Space for All – Satellite Development Track, focuses on the United Nations/Exolaunch Cooperation Programme on CubeSat Launch and Deployment using the Exolaunch EXOpod. The programme, running from May 2024 to December 2027, aims to enhance participating nations’ scientific, technological, and legal capabilities, with a particular emphasis on developing countries and emerging space nations. Up to two entities will be selected to develop 1U-3U CubeSats for deployment in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). 

Benefits
  • UNOOSA and Exolaunch undertake to make available, free of charge, the launch of a maximum of two (2) 1U-3U CubesSats in one competition round to entities selected by the UN as part of the Access to Space for All Initiative of UNOOSA. 
  • Exolaunch shall provide one slot free of charge in the EXOpod CubeSat deployer and launch services for each of the selected CubeSats, as well as related technical support and coordination activities for the Selected Entities. 

However, the Selected Entity shall bear the costs of the activities identified under Section 16 of this Announcement of Opportunity. This cooperation programme is subject to the availability of UNOOSA and Exolaunch’s funds and resources.

Eligibility Criteria

This Opportunity is open to entities located in developing economies and economies in transition that are Member States of the United Nations:

  • Government organisations, research institutes, universities, and other public and non-for-profit organisations can apply for this Opportunity. Private companies are ineligible.
  • Entities located in countries that do not have satellites in orbit at the time of the opening of this application (according to the information on the United Nations Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space) are particularly encouraged to apply.
Programme Schedule
  • Application Submission: 31 December 2024;
  • Selection and notification of shortlisted applicants: 28 February 2025;
  • Updated application submission: 31 May 2025;
  • Selection and notification of winner(s): 30 June 2025;
  • Preparation period, including technical coordination: Approximately 15-18 months (subject to the progress of the CubeSat development);
  • Safety Review and Compatibility Review: Exolaunch will determine and arrange this according to the progress of the CubeSat development;
  • Deployment: Expected in 2026-2027, subject to the launch opportunity and progress of the CubeSat development; and
  • Reporting to UNOOSA and Exolaunch: A report on the operational results no later than three months after the deployment of the CubeSat. A report on the CubeSat mission, related activities, and any publications about the CubeSat mission every six months. A final report on the mission’s results no later than three months after completing the CubeSat mission.
How to Apply

Interested applicants must email their completed application forms here to UNOOSA by 31 December 2024, 23:59 Central European Time (CET, UTC+1). This opportunity provides essential technical support and aims to democratise access to space, fostering global cooperation in space exploration and technology.

In the email, applying entities should attach a PDF version (pdf.) Please note that the UNOOSA email account only accepts emails with a size limit of up to 10 M bytes. Submission of all necessary documents

is mandatory. Applicants must notify their country’s permanent mission in Vienna (Permanent Missions to the United Nations (Vienna) of their application submission to UNOOSA. 

For more information, click here.

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