Facts: Nigeria And Her Interest In Space Science
NIGERIA NEWS is here with a dose of facts on Nigeria you never knew about. Today’s post is about Nigeria and Her Voyage Into Space Science. Enjoy!
Four satellites have been launched by the Nigerian government into outer space. The Nigeriasat-1 was the first satellite to be built under the Nigerian government sponsorship.
The satellite was launched from Russia on 27 September 2003. Nigeriasat-1 was part of the world-wide Disaster Monitoring Constellation System.
The primary objectives of the Nigeriasat-1 were: to give early warning signals of environmental disaster; to help detect and control desertification in the northern part of Nigeria; to assist in demographic planning.
Aside from that, the satellite is to establish the relationship between malaria vectors and the environment that breeds malaria and to give early warning signals on future outbreaks of meningitis using remote sensing technology.
Other objectives of the Nigeriasat-1 also involved a task to provide the technology needed to bring education to all parts of the country through distant learning, and to aid in conflict resolution and border disputes by mapping out state and International borders.
NigeriaSat-2, Nigeria’s second satellite, was built as a high-resolution earth satellite by Surrey Space Technology Limited, a United Kingdom-based satellite technology company.
It has 2.5-metre resolution panchromatic (very high resolution), 5-metre multispectral (high resolution, NIR red, green and red bands), and 32-metre multispectral (medium resolution, NIR red, green and red bands) antennas, with a ground receiving station in Abuja.
The NigeriaSat-2 spacecraft alone was built at a cost of over £35 million. This satellite was launched into orbit from a military base in China.
NigComSat-1, a Nigerian satellite built in 2004, was Nigeria’s third satellite and Africa’s first communication satellite.
It was launched on 13 May 2007, aboard a Chinese Long March 3B carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China.
The spacecraft was operated by NigComSat and the Nigerian Space Agency, NASRDA. On 11 November 2008, NigComSat-1 failed in orbit after running out of power due to an anomaly in its solar array.
It was based on the Chinese DFH-4 satellite bus and carries a variety of transponders: 4 C-band; 14 Ku-band; 8 Ka-band; and 2 L-band.
It was designed to provide coverage to many parts of Africa, and the Ka-band transponders would also cover Italy.
On 10 November 2008 (0900 GMT), the satellite was reportedly switched off for analysis and to avoid a possible collision with other satellites.
According to Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, it was put into “emergency mode operation in order to effect mitigation and repairs”. The satellite eventually failed after losing power on 11 November 2008.
On 24 March 2009, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, NigComSat Ltd. and CGWIC signed a further contract for the in-orbit delivery of the NigComSat-1R satellite.
NigComSat-1R was also a DFH-4 satellite and is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2011 as a replacement for the failed NigComSat-1.
On 19 December 2011, a new Nigerian communications satellite was launched into orbit by China in Xichang.The satellite according to former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan was paid for by the insurance policy on NigComSat-1 which de-orbited in 2009.
It is the belief of the Nation that the satellites would have a positive impact on national development in various sectors such as communications, internet services, health, agriculture, environmental protection and national security.