Kenya: UoN, JAXA to Launch First Locally Made CubeSat to Space

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In line with the growing trend of technology in Africa and how Africans are beginning to take the centre stage when it comes to technological progress, the Kenyan government will be added to the history books as it launches its first locally made satellite into space.

The satellite which will be launched on Friday was developed by students and researchers of the University of Nairobi in collaboration with the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). The Nano-satellite had earlier been handed to the JAXA Tsukuba Space Centre in January in preparation of its deployment.

Speaking on behalf of the University of Nairobi, the Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr John Orindi said that the satellite is the First Kenya University Nano Satellite-Precursor Flight and hence, its model name; 1KUNS-PF. He added that it would be the first satellite to be launched from the Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station (ISS) in Kibo and would have a delegation led by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohammed to witness the satellite launch in Japan.

In a media briefing today, more information about the satellite will be released with JAXA astronauts in attendance via video link. From the initial information released, the 10 centimetre cub satellite (CubeSat) was developed through the KiboCube programme organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and JAXA.

Government Officials and researchers from the University of Nairobi in a delegation led by the Education Cabinet Secretary will witness the launch on May 11 around 1pm, Kenyan time.