Three graduates from All Nations University College in Koforidua, Ghana, spent nearly two years working on Ghana’s first satellite.
“This followed the successful launch on June 10 into the International Space Station (ISS) by SpaceX, Flight11 from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, the United States”, the local media reported. “The successful launch of the satellite has put Ghana on the International map as the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to launch academic satellite into space. The successful launch also paved way for the country to explore the full benefit of satellite technology”, it said.
Developed by Benjamin Bonsu, Ernest Teye Matey, and Joseph Quansah, the team started working on the launch in 2015 and received support from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The entire project cost $500,000 (£400,000).
GhanaSat-1 orbits at an altitude of 400km and weighs 1kg. The satellite was equipped with cameras used to closely monitor Ghana’s coastlines, and the microprocessors on board will also collect important data on the effects of space radiation on electronics to help find ways to protect important instruments on future space missions. The first signal from the satellite was received shortly after it was launched.
Ghana joins the big space engineers like China, United States and Russia in putting up a satellite. GhanaSat-1 is an achievement to the space technology of Africa and offers hope to her educational system.