The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has revealed that Nigeria is set to launch Africa’s first nano-satellite into orbit.
The Director General of the agency, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said Nigeria’s nano-satellite would be launched alongside four other countries, including Japan, Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal between May 23 and 27, 2017.
A nano-satellite is an artificial satellite with a wet mass between one and 10 kg 2.2–22 lb which is used for measuring weather changes.
The DG revealed further that the nano-satellite would be launched at the launch base in Miami, Florida, United States.
According to him, “Nigeria, along with other four countries – Japan, Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal – in the last one year, came together to work in a constellation to build about five nanosatellites.”
Continuing, Muhammed said: “You may ask ‘what are these nanosatellites for?’ It’s a scientific satellite that is to study environmental parameters.
“They would help in most of these environmental issues to study them – environmental characterisation. In addition to that, they would also be carrying camera that would acquire some form of data.
“And what we have also demonstrated by this is the fact that Nigerian engineers and scientists earlier built Nigerian Sat-X using the laboratory in Missouri.
“They’ve gone ahead again to build nano-satellite in the laboratory in Kyushu University in Japan and all these are parts of efforts to sustain technology already transferred to Nigerian scientists and engineers,
“Those nanosatellites, each time they are within the Nigerian territory, would be singing national anthem.
“So those who carry UHF radio would be able to receive it and all these are part of Nigeria’s efforts,” he said.
Mohammed also declared that Nigeria would be a space power by 2030, sending an astronaut into space from Nigerian-owned launch facility on Nigeria’s soil.
“There is a ‘Roadmap for Development of Space Science and Technology’ ending in 2030.We hope by 2030, facilities for launch would have been provided in Nigeria so that by that year, we would have launched satellite from Nigeria into space.”