African countries must take advantage of the innovations space technology has to offer to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of a nation…
An artist depiction of the Kenyan built Cubesat
The Republic of Kenya is about to join the exclusive club of owner of space-based assets in Africa as it begins to make plans to launch its fully indigenous satellite system into space.
The new Kenyan satellite was designed by students and researchers from the University of Nairobi (UoN) in collaboration with the Italian Sapienza University and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), after the completion of the Kenyan satellite it was handed over to the JAXA Tsukuba Space Centre in January for launch into space.
The Nano Satellite (Cubesat), the name of the Kenyan satellite is just 10cm cube -costing about Ksh100 million (about $1million USD) the funds which was provided by Japan during the design phase.
If all goes according to plan, it’ll herald Kenyans venture into space. Something peculiar about the Kenyan satellite is that it is the first cubesat selected to be deployed from the Japanese Experimental Module (Kibo) which would interface with the International Space Station.
Cubesat is administered by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and JAXA. Although according to the UoN vice-chancellor, the Kenyan’s Nano satellite will only be used for monitoring climate change, wildlife mapping, earth mapping, weather forecast, coastline monitoring, transport and logistics.
However, the UoN hopes to build bigger and more powerful satellites with better resolution and capabilities in the nearest future.