On 11th May 2018, Kenya launched its very first satellite. The satellite or better known as cube satellite was launched from the International Space Station, to be exact the Japanese module of the space station. Through a resupply mission which took place in April, a rocket of SpaceX brought the cube satellite there. Launching Kenya’s home-based cube satellite will come in handy in various ways. It will be used in different kinds of sectors like food security mapping and disaster management sector. It is to be used in mapping security of food and also help in weather forecasting. Besides all these, the satellites can also be utilized in monitoring livestock and wildlife.
Kenya’s cube satellite was designed by the country’s scientists. This Nanosatellite was developed at the University of Nairobi. This was part of a program by both United Nations and space agency of Japan. The motive behind this was to improve the space technologies of various space industries of the developed countries by supporting their research institutions. This cube satellite of Kenya is said to have a lifespan which ranges from one year to about 18 months. It is supposed to de-orbit and burn up after this.
The first satellite of Kenya was launched in the year 1970, and its mission was considered to be the first earth-orbiting mission of the world. It was also said to be dedicated to celestial X-ray astronomy, but this mission was not that useful. With the improvement of satellite and space technologies, nowadays nations which have low income can also send Nanosatellites to space for the development of their space industries. Since Africa has previously lacked this opportunity, the launch of Kenya’s satellite is considered to be a very vital and significant step towards empowering innovation.
The launch of such satellite helps in providing essential information regarding disaster planning which has the potential for the improvement of agriculture like how to safeguard forest and natural habitat etc. It also helps in providing Internet connectivity to the rural areas of the country. Expenses of purchasing satellites from other international governments also get reduced as a result of this. Various African nations like Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa has launched and operated their space programs. In the year 2017, an African space policy was launched which called for the development of outer space program and also using satellite communication to improve their economy.