Prof Seidu Mohammed who is the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency(NASRDA) revealed that Nigeria is set to launch Africa’s first nanosatellite into the orbit.
Based on the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), the Director-General of NASRDA stated that the Nigeria’s nanosatellite would be launched alongside with four other countries between May 23 to May 27.
Mohammed revealed that the nanosatellite would be launched “within the window of May 23 and 27” from the launch base at Miami, Florida, U.S.
“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.
“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 characterization.
“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 nanosatellite 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.
He also claimed that the country would be a space power by 2030, sending an astronaut into space from Nigerian-owned launch facility on Nigeria’s soil.
He added that the engineers who designed and launched Nigerian satellites are at the Centre for Satellite Technology Development at NASRDA.
“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.”
He expressed optimism that the plan would be actualized with the helped of Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who is the Minister of Science and Technology.
“We would be able to complete our Assembling, Integration, Testing and Design before 2018, and by 2022, most of these efforts would begin to crystallize.
“The large-scale commercialization of space equipment would be possible in our country, and by 2030, we believe that there would be a launching facility from our country.
“We believe before 2030, there will be need for Nigeria to be an international space station,” the NASRDA chief said.
Mohammed also praised the engineers scientists at NASRDA, saying that with the ongoing efforts, the first satellite would roll out of the agency’s facility by 2018.
He stated that NASRDA remained the number one space agency in Africa, adding it has so far launched five satellites – three earth observation satellites and two communication satellites.