by Lekan Olanrewaju
Ever wanted to see Nigerian astronauts in space? Well, Christmas just came in a bit early for you!
Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey on Thursday announced that Nigeria would be launching 3 satellites and sending astronauts into space by 2015 as part of government efforts to boost the economy through space technology.
Speaking in Abuja at the 2012 ministerial platform, one year score card, organized by Ministry of Information, he elaborated on plans the country had in place for the time period spanning now till 2028.
“In 2015 we are preparing to launch NigeriaSAR-1 satellite,” Professor Bassey said. “The NigeriaSAR is a security satellite with an acronym that stands for Synthetic Aperture Radar.”
“This satellite will have a very high resolution that can cover kilometres, and for a backup of the communication satellite there will be NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-3.”
“Also because of the experience we gained in Surrey, UK, we are going to build an Assembly Integration and Testing Centre for satellite technology, it is ongoing but this year we will put in more efforts to that technology,” the minister continued. “And before I leave office in 2015 we will send Nigerian Astronaut into space”
“In 2026 we have allies in electronics and software involved in space technology, and in 2028 we would now launch a Nigeria made satellite. 100 personnel from the military who have been trained in space applications this year are now ready to be involved in surveillance satellite project.”
Just one question – what happened to the last satellite we put in space?