PearlAfricaSat-1, a Ugandan satellite, will deploy to the ISS in August

Uganda has concluded the creation of its first satellite, putting the country’s space and technological goals closer together. In April of 2020, Uganda started the process of deploying its first-ever satellite into the space by sending 3 graduate students to Kyushu Institute of Technology located in Japan for training in satellite testing, design, and construction, as a portion of global program unveiled in 2015.

The three students, Derick Tebusweke, Edgar Mujuni, and Bonny Omara, successfully finished their work on the satellite [PearlAfricaSat-1], that they have presently given to the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) for last testing on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022.

Dr. Monica Musenero, Uganda’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, stated that JAXA would test Uganda’s first satellite in the next five to eight days before handing it over to the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) of the United States of America for transit to the ISS (International Space Station). The satellite will then be launched from the International Space Station into low-Earth orbit in August of this year.

“These students finished the building of this satellite, and this morning we virtually participated in a ceremony at the prime minister’s office when the government of Uganda, represented by the country’s ambassador in Japan, turned over this satellite to the Japan Space Agency for final testing, which will take approximately five days, and then it will be ready for launch by NASA in August,” Musenero added.

PearlAfricaSat-1 was created by engineers to provide data for research and observation in six areas. Weather forecasting, water, land, and mineral mapping, border security, agriculture monitoring, infrastructure planning, and disaster prevention are just a few of the areas covered.

A multispectral camera payload is one of PearlAfricaSat-1’s core missions. Uganda will benefit from about 20-meter resolution images provided by the Multispectral Camera mission, which will aid in soil fertility, water quality, and land use as well as cover analysis. By surveilling the East African crude oil pipeline, the satellite will play a critical role in the gas and oil operation. By collecting remote sensor data for forecasting landslides and drought, precise weather forecasts will be possible. A Ugandan ground station will oversee the satellite’s health for a few days after it is launched into orbit before it begins its mission.

Uganda’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation revealed in 2019 that the country had set aside a budget for satellite development, with the country aiming to deploy its first-ever satellite by 2022. Furthermore, Uganda intends to develop a second satellite in the country while also training young Ugandan engineers. Uganda plans to launch its second satellite in 2024.

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