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Guatemala’s First Satellite Quetzal-1 Deploys from ISS 

By Rachel Jewett | April 28, 2020

Guatemala’s Quetzal-1 Cubesat. Photo: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

Guatemala’s first satellite, a cubesat known as Quetzal-1, was deployed by Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) from the ISS on Tuesday. The mission’s primary objective is to test a multispectral sensor to acquire remote sensing data for natural resource management. The sensor could be used to monitor water quality in inland water bodies, helping to achieve clean water and sanitation, one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The satellite was created as part of the KiboCUBE program, and the result of collaboration between United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), JAXA, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), the UK Space Agency, the University of Colorado, the University of Chile, TEC Costa Rica, and the University of Würzburg among others. 

“We hope that the experience and knowledge obtained through the development and technical demonstration of Quetzal-1 will lead to the further development of remote sensing technology in Guatemala in the future,” said JAXA Director General of Human Spaceflight, Hiroshi Sasaki.