Kampala; Uganda has launched its first satellite into the International Space Station due to its construction by three Ugandan citizens and Japanese engineers.
On Monday, November 7, 2022, Uganda successfully launched its first satellite into the International Space Station (ISS) following its construction by three Ugandans and Japanese engineers under a multinational satellite design program.
Uganda’s cube-type satellite, PearlAfricaSat-1, will subsequently be deployed into the low earth orbit in December this year (2022).
Through the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the PearlAfricaSat-1 is purely designed to provide scientific research and observation data that will provide solutions in weather forecasts, land, and water bodies, mineral mapping, and agriculture monitoring.
The minister for Science, Technology, and Innovation- Monica Musenero said that the new space services that will be available next year (2023) will be an enabler for the country’s advanced economy from which different sectors will benefit.
“Uganda is now at the scientific ranked, hence the development of PearlAfricaSat-1 gives opportunities for the development of subsequent satellites locally in Uganda, meaning our engineers and scientists will be providing practical solutions to the challenges facing the Ugandan citizens as well as boosting the country’s internal capacity to develop the space science and technology industry value chain,” Minister Musenero said.
The Country’s satellite’s scientific design which has been in progress since April 2020 has been done under the BIRDS-5 project through which the three Ugandan nationals engineers on the team obtained training in satellite design, manufacturing, and testing.
Point of view, the BIRDS-5, which seeks to make the first steps towards creating an indigenous space program by designing, building, launching, and operating the first satellites for participating countries, is being implemented in collaboration with the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan, with Zimbabwe being the other African country involved as well.
The Ugandan students include; Derrick Tebusweke, Edgar Mujuni and Bonny Omara have also been awarded master’s degrees in space systems engineering and were tasked with developing, testing, and launching Uganda’s first satellite into space.
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The three will also offer spespecialized ailing on satellite development to Ugandan graduate engineers, stand to establish the Country’s first satellite communication network, and a laboratory to facilitate knowledge transfer.
On the other hand, the satellite was recently handed over to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for transport to the international space station from where it will be launched into low earth orbit.
In addition, the satellite will be operated from Uganda and all its data will be analysed and used in Uganda through a ground station.