Uganda’s first satellite, PearlAfricasat-1, has been deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS).
The Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Monica Musenero, who was quoted by the media said that Pearl Africa Sat -1 was deployed on Friday at 10:45 am.
Dr. Monica Musenero said Uganda’s Ground Station, established at Mpoma in Mukono district is now operational and in communication with the Satellite.
PearlAfricaSat-1 was developed by 3 Ugandan Engineers: Bonny Omara, Derrick Tebusweke, and Edgar Mujuni, who received specialized training at Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech), Japan.
“We thank His Excellency the President, the Government of Japan, Kyutech, and NASA for the enormous support towards this monumental milestone,” Dr. Monica Musenero said in a statement released on Friday afternoon.
PearlAfricaSat-1 is designed to provide research and observation data that will provide solutions in weather forecast, land, water bodies, mineral mapping and agriculture monitoring. Others are disaster prevention, infrastructure planning and boarder security.
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 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).
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