Africa has officially entered the space race as Ghana’s first satellite now orbits Earth. The satellite was launched thanks to support by NASA and SpaceX. The cubesat category satellite was created by a team of engineers from the All Nations University in Ghana.
Satellite Sent to ISS Successfully
The cubesat was delivered to the International Space Station earlier in June. The satellite was launched off the Kennedy Space Center’s launchpad 39a and used a SpaceX rocket for the launch. The satellite was named Ghanasat-1 and is currently operational, according to Richard Damoah, a professor from Ghana who is an assistant research scientist at NASA. According to Richard, the Ghanasat-1 holds two key missions. It will firstly help monitor the Ghanaian coastline using the cameras mounted on board. Secondly, it will provide information for the government to help integrate satellite technology into school curriculums, thereby becoming a source of education for young students.
No Government Support for Satellite
Despite the applause showered by the Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo, the Ghana government has not actually provided any financial support to the engineering team. Most of the investment into the project was provided by JAXA, the national space agency of Japan. JAXA also provided training to the engineers for the development of the satellite.
The satellite will transmit signals to the Space Systems and Technology Laboratory ground station within the All Nations University campus. The engineering team for the satellite includes Joseph Quansah, Ernest Teye Matey, and Benjamin Bonsu.