Ghana launches first satellite…
Ghana has become the first Sub-Saharan African country to send a satellite into orbit around the earth. The satellite, named Ghanasat-1, was launched into space by a group of students of the All Nations University, Eastern region; with the help of the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA.
Ghana’s first satellite which was released and deployed into orbit at an altitude of 420 km, was watched live at JAXA Tsukuba Space Center in Japan and All Nations University Campus (ANUC) in Koforidua. Officials from NASA and other space technologists gathered at the All Nations University College observing the release of the Satellite into Orbit.
The release into Orbit of the satellite was covered by both local and international media houses including the BBC. Rounds of cheers and applause followed the release of the Satellite, which was witnessed by the engineers and other stakeholders gathered at the school’s premises. The first signal was received shortly afterward.
The satellite which cost $50,000 (£40,000), will be used to monitor Ghana’s coastline for mapping purposes, and to build capacity in space science and technology.
Ghana has placed herself on the international map as the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to launch an academic satellite into space paving way for the country to explore the full benefit of satellite technology.
Ghana Launches First Satellite: Specifications of the newly launched satellite
1. It has low and high-resolution cameras onboard capable of taking pictures of Ghana and provide data on happenings on Ghana’s coastal areas and the environment. It is expected to orbit 400km (248 miles) above the earth.
2. It will be used to monitor Ghana’s coastline for mapping purposes and to collect data in that respect
3. The launch was made possible with Japanese collaboration. It was a 2-year project that cost $50,000 in collaboration with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
4. It has a weight of 1kg and was one of five micro-satellites launched.
The students who took up this initiative have been applauded by the entire Ghanaian citizenry. Associate research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre (GSFC), Dr Richard Damoah has commended the students for taking up this initiative. In an address to the media, the research scientist charged the government to invest more resources in satellite technology, so as in to draw more investors into the country.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in a tweet also commended the students for their exceptional contribution.
Congratulations to the team from All Nations Uni., Koforidua, for the successful launch of Ghana's 1st satellite, GhanaSat-1, into orbit.
— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) July 7, 2017
He also congratulated All Nations University Space Laboratory team on placing Ghana among the global space community.Ghana
Ghana Launches First Satellite: Meet the Inventors
The project was carried out entirely by three young engineering graduates of the ANUC who designed, assembled and tested the satellite.
The trio, Benjamin Bonsu, a PhD student in Applied Science for System Engineering, Joseph Quansah and Ernest Teye Matey, executed the project under the supervision of Professor Mengu Cho, the Director of Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering (LaSEINE) and other faculty members of Kyutech.
This same trio, were the founder members of ANUC’s Space Science and Technology Laboratory (SSTL) which designed, developed and launched successfully the university’s miniaturized Cansat on May 15, 2013.
They completed their Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering at ANUC in 2013. They constructed the university’s amateur Ground Station that currently allows the station to receive information from passing satellites.