Kenya’s first earth observation satellite launch has been postponed by 24 hours by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company due to unfavourable weather conditions at the California launch site.
The Observation Satellite
The satellite mission was created to take advantage of its hyperspectral camera to make accurate and timely Earth observation data available for important stakeholders in a variety of sectors to support the nation’s strategic development decisions. Taifa-1’s satellite data will also help authorities boost the agriculture sector, reduce food hunger, ensure that natural resources are properly managed, and enable accurate environmental observations, among other advantages.
The satellite launch also represents Kenya’s notable progress in expanding its satellite manufacturing capability to provide applications with socioeconomic advantages.
While speaking on the importance of the project, the Acting Director of the Kenya Space Agency, Brigadier General Hillary Kipkosgey, reiterated that “the mission plays a pivotal role in putting Kenya on the global map because of its contributions to the growth of satellite development, data analysis, and processing, and the development of applications in Africa. Moreover, space is the next frontier in many ways, and we are happy to be part of this progress. It is a moment of pride.”
Together with other satellites from other nations, the Nation-1 satellite, or Taifa-1 in Swahili, was to be launched on a Falcon 9 rocket.
The delay was caused by “unfavourable upper-level wind conditions,” according to a statement from the Kenya Space Agency, which would “impact the rocket’s flight trajectory.”
The launch is now anticipated to occur at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday, April 12.
The satellite’s primary goal will be to deliver data for use in environmental monitoring, land management, agriculture, and food security.
With the help of a Bulgarian aerospace manufacturer, a team of Kenyan experts completely designed and manufactured Taifa-1, including the testing of the satellite’s components.
In 2018, Kenya, collaborated with Japan to launch its first experimental nanosatellite from the International Space Station. It was said to have been built by students from the University of Nairobi.
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