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GhanSat-1, Ghana’s first space satellite, starts orbiting

Few reports also suggest that post the successful launch of GhanSat-1, there are plans to soon launch GhanSat 2 into the space. The next satellite will be equipped with better cameras and closely follow deforestation and the usage of water in the country.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
August 7, 2017 9:22:12 am
ghana, ghana satellite launch, ghansat-1, ghana satellite, ghana space exploration, ghana all nations university  The team of engineers that worked on GhanSat-1 (Source: Screengrab from a video by Science and more)

In a boost to the space and science community in the country, Ghana’s first satellite, GhanaSat-1 began its orbit recently. With this, Ghana has become the first Sub-Saharan African country to send a satellite into orbit around the earth. Built by a group of Ghanian students at All Nations University, the satellite was launched from NASA’s International Space Station in July.

GhanaSat-1 weighs 1 kg and will orbit 400 kms above the Earth. The satellite has cameras that will be used to closely monitor Ghana’s coastlines. According to a report in BBC, the launch that happened in July was closely watched by the engineers and 400 people had gathered to catch the live updates. The first signal from the satellite was received shortly afterwards.

The satellite will send the signals to the ground station at the university’s laboratory, the place where it was initially developed by Benjamin Bonsu, Ernest Teye Matey, and Joseph Quansah. The team of engineers started working on the launch in 2015 and received support from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The entire project cost $500,000 (£400,000).

Richard Damoah, director of the Space Systems Technology Laboratory at the All Nations University, was quoted by BBC saying the launch marked a new beginning for Ghana. “It has opened the door for us to do a lot of activities from space.” He said it would “also help us train the upcoming generation on how to apply satellites in different activities around our region. For instance, [monitoring] illegal mining is one of the things we are looking to accomplish.”

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Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had also congratulated the team for putting Ghana on the global space map. The launch of GhanaSat-1 shows Africa’s growing interest in space exploration. Few reports also suggest that post the successful launch of GhanSat-1, there are plans to soon launch GhanSat 2 into the space. The next satellite will be equipped with better cameras and closely follow deforestation and the usage of water in the country.

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