Nigeria to launch two satellites in July

Nigeria to launch two satellites in July


Abuja, Nigeria: Nigeria is all set to launch its second earth observation satellite, NigeriaSat-2 and one other satellite, NigeriaSat-X, according to the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA). Seidu Mohammed, director general of NASRDA said that that the two satellites will be launched using the Dneper launch vehicle, which has launched over 50 satellites successfully in orbit.

“The official launch date of NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X is Thursday July 7, 2011,” he said. “The two satellites will be launched into orbit at exactly 8:12AM Nigeria time from the launch site.” Mohammed stated that Nigeria’s voyage into space is a bid to realise space-based solutions for the myriad problems encountered in the nation, adding that satellite technology remains a veritable tool for strategic planning. “Space science and technology application is needed in all facets of human life including health, security and defence, agriculture, information communication, among others.”

NigeriaSat-2 is a high resolution satellite with a 2.5m GSD in the panchromatic channel, and it is an improvement on NigeriaSat-1 which has a resolution of 32m but NigeriaSat-X was built by Nigerian engineers.

“NigeriaSat-X is the ingenuity of our engineers who have undergone training in the design and building of satellites. NigeriaSat-X depicts Nigeria’s first efforts at developing satellites and will be launched alongside NigeriaSat-2,” he said.

The first, NigeriaSat-1 was launched in 2003 and has five years design life span. It has outlived this span and is now eight years old and still operational while the second satellite, NIGCOMSAT-1 was launched in 2007 but failed 18 months after. He said the impact of NigeriaSat-1 on the nation was tremendous but that Sat-2 has better potential.

There are 1,000 satellites in orbit around the world, with USA having 443, Russia 100, China has 69 while Egypt has 4; Nigeria has only one.