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Experts describe NASRDA’s planned launch of Nano-Satellite as another drain pipe

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More Nigerians and experts in Science and Technology have continued to condemn the planned launch of Africa’s first Nano-satellite, saying the platform will equally go the same of other white elephant satellites previously orbited by NigComSat.

It would be recalled that all the five satellites so far orbited by NigComSat, the country had not been able to gain any useful data or information from them, thus creating a credibility concern on whether they were actually launched or the funds were blown away.

The Head of Research at Africa Environmental & Economic Peace Mission (AEEPM), Dr. Dan Agu told Business Hilights in a telephone interview that “A nano-Satellite can best be described as an artificial satellite with a wet mass between one and 10 kg 2.2–22 lb launched into the orbit, possibly to gather strategic environmental data that can be analysed for the protection of the environment.

While stressing that such platforms are good if they will be well managed, Agu noted that “The cost of accessing and analyzing data from Nanosatellites can be more than what it took to launch them”.

“Am not so sure that NASDRA had done the needful in terms of training personnel that will man the platform when it becomes orbited,” AEEPM expert said.

Besides, more Nigerians are still condemning the planned launch saying it is not necessary now the economy is in recession.

A commentator who comments on the one of the social media said ““Nigeria to launch Nano-Satellite again? The first two launched before, please can somebody tell me what the benefits  we have derived from them.  How many institutions and industries has benefited from the project? Please I need to be informed.  Now Nano, why do we loved to deceive ourselves and waste resources,” one member of the Group named Digivation News posted. He advised government to instead use the money to build ICT Villages in Geo-political zones across the country.

The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), had last week indicated readiness to launch Nigeria’s first nanosatellite between May 23 to May 27 into the orbit.

Director-General of agency, Prof Seidu Mohammed, said in New York that the Nigeria’s nanosatellite would be launched alongside four other countries between

He further disclosed that the nanosatellite would be launched from the launch base at Miami, Florida, U.S.

The latest satellite to be launched is another feat achieved by the Nigerian engineers.

He said “Nigeria, along with other four countries – Japan, Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal – in the last one year, came together to work in a constellation to build about five nanosatellites.

“You may ask ‘what are these nanosatellites for?’ It’s a scientific satellite that is to study environmental parameters.

“They would help in most of these environmental issues to study them – environmental characterization.

“In addition to that, they would also be carrying camera that would acquire some form of data.

“And what we have also demonstrated by this is the fact that Nigerian engineers and scientists earlier built Nigerian Sat-X using the laboratory in Missouri.

“They’ve gone ahead again to build nanosatellite in the laboratory in Kyushu University in Japan and all these are parts of efforts to sustain technology already transferred to Nigerian scientists and engineers.

The space chief also declared that Nigeria would be a space power by 2030, sending an astronaut into space from Nigerian-owned launch facility on Nigeria’s soil.

While noting that the engineers that designed Nigerian satellites are at the Centre for Satellite Technology Development at NASRDA, Mohammed expressed optimism that with the current efforts of the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the plan would be actualized.

He assured that “There is a ‘Roadmap for Development of Space Science and Technology’ ending in 2030. We hope by 2030, facilities for launch would have been provided in Nigeria so that by that year, we would have launched satellite from Nigeria into space.”

“We would be able to complete our Assembling, Integration, Testing and Design before 2018, and by 2022, most of these efforts would begin to crystallize.

“The large-scale commercialization of space equipment would be possible in our country, and by 2030, we believe that there would be a launching facility from our country.

“We believe before 2030, there will be need for Nigeria to be an international space station,” the NASRDA chief said.

Business Hilights recalls that the first satellite, NigeriaSat-I, an international disaster monitoring constellation satellite, built by a UK-based satellite technology company, Surrey Space Technology Limited, was launched in 2003.

This was immediately followed by NigComSat-I, the second Nigerian satellite was ordered and built in China in 2004; it was Africa’s first communication satellite, launched on May 13, 2007.

Then come NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X, which, respectively, were the third and fourth built by Surrey Space Technology Limited., were launched in Aug. 17, 2011.

Whereas the fifth, NigComSat-1R was launched by China on Dec. 19, 2011, Nigerians had continued to query the rationale and economic meaning when no single national advantage had been recorded from any of the five launches.


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