With the launch of nano-satellite from the International Space Station on Friday, Kenya has entered space for the first time. The cube-shaped satellite was made under KiboCUBE program involving student engineers and scientists at the University of Nairobi. Japanese Space Agency also have extended their help by funding a million dollars on the project of Kenya’s Space agency that was established last year only.
The nano-satellite, weighing 1.2 kg and mearing 10 cm, will be sending information related to disaster management, weather forecasting, wildlife, food-security and many other objectives. With this entry, it has joined the space club of African countries that include Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa and Ghana.
A new landmark has been set by KiboCUBE team that was started in 2015. Faith Karanja was the senior lecturer involved in the mission who said that they have attained the next level because so far, they have been just users of space technology and space science. Also, three Kenyan students were sent for advanced science studies in nano-satellite testing to Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology.
In connection to this, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, Peter Mbithi said that it is a historic step for both Kenya and the University of Nairobi and it would create more opportunities for Kenyan people in the space industry and he also wished to have a long tie-up with the Kenyan Government to undertake future space projects. They also hope for developing another nano-satellite with high resolution camera bigger than the launched one.