Nigeria plans local satellite launch pad by 2013

Despite the recent setback suffered by Nigeria in space technology owing to the failure of the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat-1), space authorities in the country have said that they are working towards acquiring the capacity to launch satellite locally by 2013.

The Director General, National Space Research and Development Agency, Prof. Robert Boroffice, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said the agency had developed a Rocket Launch Control System and a number of other related products.

The Rocket Launch Control System would, however, play no role in the launch of NigeriaSat-2, the second earth observation satellite, which the agency plans to put in the orbit in the last quarter of 2009.

Ukraine satellite launch vehicle, Dnepr, would be used in the launch of the nation‘s the earth observation satellite, NigeriaSat-2.

Nigeria currently has two satellites. While the first, an earth observation satellite, was manufactured by the Surrey Satellite Technology Limited of United Kingdom , the second, a communications satellite, which was manufactured by the Great Wall Industry Corporation of China, failed recently after its solar panel was damaged.

Boroffice said towards building the capacity of Nigeria for local satellite manufacture and launching, 11 engineers left the shores of the country for studies in rockery in Ukrain, while another set of seven engineers is set for another country- also to acquire capacity in rockery.

Apart from the Rocket Launch Control System, the NASRDA boss and his team also displayed a few other products developed by the agency, which he called the spin-offs of the nation‘s efforts in space technology.


Author: EARSC

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