Nigeria launched NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X into Orbit
Friday, August 19, 2011
successfully, launched one of the most advanced earth observation
satellites (Nigeriasat-2) of its kind that is commercially available in
the imaging world into the orbit at exactly 8:12.am Nigerian time in
Nigeria Sat-X, which was built by Nigerian
engineers trained at the same time the Sat-2 was being built as a
demonstration that Nigeria can build and launch its satellite was
launched alongside NigeriaSat-2.
With the launch of the
two satellites, NigeriaSa-1, which has since overstayed its life span
in orbit would be replaced.
Speaking to journalists in
Abuja shortly after showing the live coverage of the launch site, in
Russia to the audience, the project manager of the NigeriaSat-2 and X,
Mr. Francis Chizea, said that NigeriaSat-2 and X, have five years life
span, just like NigeriaSat-1, and “will continue the work which
NigeriaSat-1 is doing, but is more advanced in technology.”
further, Mr. Chizea, noted that the satellite was designed for five
years, just like NigeriaSat-1. “It is still in the orbit functioning and
providing images as it used to be. They are two different satellites on
their own; Nigeria Sat-2 is a higher resolution satellite, carrying
2.5m resolution camera on board.
“It also has 32m
camera on board, because we expect that very soon, Nigeria Sat-1 will
expire, and stop working. So to ensure that there is data continuity, we
also have that 32m camera in Nigeria sat-2. It is a more advanced space
craft. Whatever Nigeria sat-2 is doing in the orbit now is to carry out
earth resolution that Nigeriasat-1 has been carrying out for the past 8
years, but with 32m camera, it has better grand meter set, which we
never had before. Now, we can have our own high earth resolution data
from our grand station whenever we want it.”
economic implication of the satellite, he said, it is not just launching
of the satellite that matters but to improve the socio-economic life of
Nigerians, adding that data from Nigeria-sat-2 will be used for various
applications “in agriculture, urban mapping, environmental monitoring,
etc. nigeriasat-2 is one of the most advanced satellites of its kind
that is in the orbit today.”
Explaining why the
satellite is the most advanced of its kind, Chizea pointed out that the
Nigeriasat-2 unlike any other satellite can image lots of images, “for
example, it can image a still image, under a very low skill which was
not possible in Nigeriasat-1. Nigeriasat-2 is very agile, you can image
and offload at the same time to the grand station, this is the facility
that is not available in satellites of its kind. It can carry out images
from security, pipeline monitoring to coastal monitoring, depending on
what we have on ground.”
On the Nigeria Sat-X, he said,
the space agency is in control of it is, as it is in its early stage
operations. He said that SSTL Satellite company in Russia, trained the
engineers and as well built Sat-2.
Also speaking, the
acting director-general of National Space Research and Development
Agency, who is also director of policy, planning and research, Mrs.
Augusta Iheanacho, said the agency is particularly delighted because,
“it is our engineers that built Nigeria-Sat-X, using Surrey’s facilities
far away in the UK.”
She, however, appealed to the
federal government, that since Nigerian engineers were able to build and
launch Nigeria Sat-X, they should be given all the necessary support to
launch same achievement in Nigeria.
“If only we had
the critical infrastructure we need to be able to build our own
satellite in Nigeria. Like I said, the critical infrastructure will
required is the assembling, integration and testing and designing
centres, we promise Nigeria, that henceforth, we will be able to build
our own satellite in Nigeria, without outside assistance,” she added.
Nigeria launched two observation satellites into
orbit yesterday, and authorities said they hoped to use the equipment to
monitor weather in a region seasonally ravaged by disasters.
launched NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X into orbit yesterday morning
from a Russian launch pad in the town of Yasny, President Goodluck
Jonathan said on state-run television.
He described the
event as "another milestone in our nation's effort to solve national
problems through space technology."
could have a variety of applications, authorities said, which include
monitoring disaster-prone areas in a country that stretches into
Africa's Sahel, a belt of land on the Sahara Desert's southern fringe
that sees extreme weather conditions. It experiences severe droughts in
the dry season and devastating rainfall in the wet season. Floods last
year displaced about 500,000 people nationwide, with most of them in the
Authorities said NigeriaSat-2 can detect
anything wider than 8.2 feet (2.5 meters), such as cars. That means the
satellites also could be used for military and intelligence purposes.
satellite launch also spotlights Nigeria as a main African player in
space technology development, rivaling countries such as South Africa
and Algeria, which also have space programs. Despite the strides
Nigeria's space technology industry has made in recent years, it remains
largely dependent on other nations' technology.
was built by a team of Nigerian engineers and scientists at Surrey
Satellite Technology in the United Kingdom, while NigeriaSat-2 was built
in collaboration with the UK company's team, said Felix Ale, a
spokesman for the National Space Research and Development Agency.
officials hope this launch goes better than the country's last. In May
2007, Nigeria launched its first communication satellite, built by a
Chinese team and launched from a Chinese pad. NIGCOMSAT-1 was expected
to provide phone, broadband Internet and broadcasting services in
Africa's most populous country, but it was lost in space just over a
year later. Authorities said a replacement satellite will be launched
before the end of the year.
THE SATELLITE IS A
BLESSING TO AFRICA
Gajere Nduke, director of the National
Centre for Remote Sensing (NCRS), says the successful launch of
NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X is a blessing to Africa. Nduke, in an
interview with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, said Nigeria would reap
the benefit of investing in the satellites.
first satellite in Africa with this kind of high resolution, I am sure
the West African Sub-region and Africa will be able to use it for
development,’’ Nduke said. He added that the satellites would help the
country to adequately plan its various sectors and be used to outsource
its natural resources. The director promised that the centre would make
good use of the satellites for the development of the country.
of the high resolution of the satellites, NCRS is going to use it to
map Nigeria into 1:25,000 scale,’’ Nduke added. Meanwhile, the
Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr
Seidu Mohammed, has said that the successful launch of the two
satellites had consolidated the country’s position as a budding space
Mohammed, in a statement signed by Felix Ale,
NASRDA’s Head of Media and Cooperate Affairs, said that defending the
country’s sovereignty was not only a political issue, but also
scientific. He added that the efforts of young Nigerian engineers and
scientists in building NigeriaSat-X had brought a lot of prestige to the
NIGERIA'S GROUND STATION CAN'T
RECIEVE SIGNALS FROM LAUNCHED SATELLITE.
satellite - Two days after Nigeria launched two satellites into space
for security and environment monitoring purposes, indications are that
the ground station in the capital city of Abuja lacks the facilities to
receive images from one of the satellites.
Nigerian-built satellites, NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X, were launched
Wednesday in Russia, where they were built by Nigerian engineers
the private Guardian newspaper reported Friday that the ground station
in Abuja was equipped only to receive images from NigeriaSat-2 for which
it was built, not for NigeriaSat-X.
The implication is
that Nigeria will have to rely on the UK-based Surrey Space Technology
Ltd for information from NigeriaSat-X.
however quoted Nigeria's National Space Research and Development Council
(NARSDA) as saying the ground station can handle information from
NARSDA spokesman Felix Alle was quoted as
saying: “Our facilities can receive images and monitor the operations
of NigeriaSat-X. The engineers are currently doing telemetry, a process
that involves sharing software with the satellites. The satellites are
currently receiving all the software that we are sending to them.”
2006, British satellite firm Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL)
signed a contract with NARSDA for the supply of the NigeriaSat-2 Earth
observation satellite, related ground infrastructure and a training
programme to further develop an indigenous space capability in Nigeria.