Kenya breaks new ground with first satellite in space

Kenya’s first satellite, built by the University of Nairobi, was deployed into the space on Friday at 1.30pm. Because of its small size...

The nano-satellite developed by the team from the University of Nairobi and  Japanese scientists. /COURTESY
Kenya’s first satellite, built by the University of Nairobi, was deployed into the space on Friday at 1.30pm.
Because of its small size, the low-orbiting satellite was first delivered into the International Space Station on April 2, from where it was thrust into space.
Kenya now becomes the ninth African nation with a satellite in space, although only four of these countries have functional satellites.
The launch was witnessed by thousands of Kenyans live online and on TV.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed travelled to Japan where she gave the ceremonial greenlight required about five minutes before the deployment.
President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated the UoN experts for the milestone.
“I’m encouraged by the venture by University of Nairobi. It is an inspiration to Kenyans to study space science for development of our economy,” he said in a speech read by Amina.
Uhuru also thanked the Japanese government, who funded the Sh120 million project.
Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, inside the ISS, said he hoped the launch would inspire Kenyans to study space science.
“I look forward to working together in future missions,” he said via a video link.
Acting Japanese ambassador Yoshihiro Katayama said Kenya’s satellite was a joint project of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and the UoN.
UoN head of the department of geospatial and space technology Faith Karanja said communication will begin immediately.

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Today in Kenya: Kenya breaks new ground with first satellite in space
Kenya breaks new ground with first satellite in space
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