The Kenya Space Agency (KSA) from the Malindi Space Centre in collaboration with the University of Rome is set to launch two mini-rockets in August this year.
This was revealed on Wednesday at a well-attended space sector technical workshop themed ‘The Space Sector We Want In Kenya’. In attendance were Defence Cabinet Secretary Monicah Juma, KSA chairman Major-General (Rtd) James Arwasa, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Gilbert Kibe, and other stakeholders.
An improvement on the huge rockets launched in the 1980s and 1990s, the mini-rockets will be launched using high altitude balloons.
James Arwasa noted that, “satellites and rockets have become smaller because of advances in technology.
“We’ve students who are already working on building and launching the two at the Malindi Space Centre. We’re working with the University of Rome.”
The launch was extended to August after seven professors involved in the project from Rome tested positive for Covid-19.
“We were expecting nine professors from the University of Rome to join us to witness these students’ launching the mini-rockets, but unfortunately seven tested positive for Covid-19,” Mr Arwasa said.
Having satellites in space makes quality data for use in making efficient decisions in the fight against climate change readily available. It helps in the promotion of national security, enhancement of agriculture, scholarship, identification of locations with minerals through earth observation and a lot more.
Arwasa promised to ensure centralisation and ease of accessibility to all to avoid duplication.