Kenya set to make history by launching its first satellite into space

The satellite was developed by the University of Nairobi and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

The satellite, developed by the University of Nairobi in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is to be launched in April or May from the International Space Station.

The Sh120 million tiny 10 by 10cm cube nanosatellite will mainly be used to observe farming trends and monitor the coastline. It will also be used to test technologies for the launch of a larger earth observation satellite in the future.

The launch, if successful, will see Kenya become the sixth country in Africa to have satellites in space after South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, and Egypt.

Koichi Wakata, the Japanese agency’s ISS programme manager, said Kenya’s satellite will be delivered to the ISS in March.

“At Jaxa, we are committed to making every effort to prepare for the successful deployment of the Republic of Kenya’s first satellite utilising unique capability of the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo on the ISS,” he said.

The ISS is a large spacecraft built by several countries to orbit Earth and house astronauts working on experiments.

The 1KUNS-PF ( 1st Kenyan University Nano Satellite Precursor Flight) is the first satellite to be developed by Kenya and first satellite to be operated by a Kenyan university.

Kenya’s first satellite was developed through a programme known as KiboCUBE, launched in September 2015 by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Jaxa.

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