Ghana becomes first sub-Saharan African country to launch satellite.
In collation from BBC Reports, GhanaSat-1 developed at All Nations University in Koforidua, and has been sent into the orbit from the International space centre. The satellite is a culmination of a two year project whose finance rose about $50,000 (£40,000) with support gained from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
With Ghana making limelight as the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to launch academic satellite into space and the 78th country to launch a satellite, Dr. Richard Damoah who was the project coordinator said it was meant to monitor Ghana’s coastlines for mapping purpose whilst building capacity in space science and technology.
It was to train upcoming generation on how to apply satellites in various activities around the region and likewise monitor the act of unlawful mining. Released for deployment into the orbit, at the altitude of 420cm on June 10 into International Space station (ISS) by SpaceX, Flight II from Kennedy Space centre in Florida, United States.
This got watched live by the All Nation-Eastern regional capital, 85km east of the capital. With rigorous safety review and fittest take-off in February, JAXA took delivery of the CubeSat, dubbed GhanaSat-1, on February 9 2017 and handed it over to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Florida USA on February 13.
With supervision of the esteemed professor Mengu Cho, the satellite was developed by Benjamin Bonsu who led the project alongside Joseph Quansah and Ernest Teye Matey with collaboration between ANUC/KYUTECH institute of Technology. With the weight of 1000 grams, the cubesat was meant to make Ghana a space faring nation.
According to reports, the satellite has onboard cameras of low and high resolution on board which has the capability of taking images of Ghana, comprehensive data on the happenings on Ghana’s coastal area (the environment). It has a Digi-Singer SNG which has ability to broadcast the national anthem and liberation songs of the country, collect songs from ground to be sent into the satellite which will be broadcasted into space.
It also has a scientific mission to make findings about the radiation effects on commercial-off-the-shelf microprocessors. The implication of this is to measure single event latch-up occurrence that degrades electronic system on board satellites due to the hazy space environment and data analysis. This laudable initiative was aimed at stimulation interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics over the country which gained independence in 1957.
Correspondent: Olayiwola A. Ridwan