It was all jubilations as America’s NASA successfully launched into space Uganda’s first satellite built by three Ugandan Engineers . The satellite was successfully launched in a five-minute window that opened at 5:27 a.m. EST(1:27pm EAT).
The launch was witnessed by millions of Ugandans including Minister of Science Technology and Innovation , Dr. Monica Musenero at the on going National Science Week 2022 at Kololo ceremonial grounds.
The PearlAfrica Sat-1 was launched by US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island in Virginia.
Uganda’s space program now supervised under the Science Technology and Innovation -began in 2020 under the Joint Global Multi-Nation BIRDS Satellite project, a cross-border interdisciplinary Satellite project for non-space faring countries initiated by Kyusu Institute of Technology in Japan.
The program is aimed at providing hands-on training to selected students in Satellite designing, manufacturing and testing. Three Ugandan students successfully graduated from the program and embarked on the task of developing a Satellite that will be launched into orbit .
The three Ugandan engineers, Edgar Mujuni, Derrick Tebusweke and Bonny Omara successfully completed working on a 10-cubic meter Satellite named – PearlAfrica Sat-1 and handed it over to Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency for final testing.
“These students completed the development of the Satellite, and this morning we remotely participated in an event at the Prime Minister’s office where the government of Uganda, represented by the nation’s Ambassador in Japan, handed over this Satellite to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency to finalize some tests and those tests will be done in in five days and then it will await launch with other satellites by NASA, ” said the Dr. Monica Musenero the, Minister of Science and Technology.
The Satellite contains a multi-spectral camera which will provide 20-metre resolution images for Uganda. The Satellite will also help in accurate weather forecasting, land use and cover analysis for Uganda, Oil and gas exploration and will also be used to monitor the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
The satellite signals will be received by a ground Station at Mpoma in Mukono which will be under the control of Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF),
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