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Ghana’s first satellite has been launched successfully

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The team of Ghanaian MSc students who designed and built the satellite

The team of Ghanaian MSc students who designed and built the satellite

A private university has successfully launched Ghana’s first satellite, the GhanaSat-1, a CubeSat that will be used to map Ghana’s coastline, monitor the atmosphere and help build the nation’s capacity in space technology.

The project, which received considerable support from JAXA, Japan’s space agency, was fulfilled primarily by the efforts of three Ghanaian students working on their MSc. in Engineering in Applied Science for Integrated Systems Engineering.

The three, Benjamin Bonsu, Quansah Kojo Krobo, and Ernest Teye Matey, have been working on the project since October 2015 and were responsible for the satellite’s design and assembly. The three completed their undergraduate studies in the All Nations University College, located in southeastern Ghana, and proceeded to the Kyushu Institute of Technology for their Masters.

GhanaSat-1 was deployed this past Friday from JAXA’s Kibo module on the International Space Station.

It had been shipped to the ISS via a SpaceX craft that left the Kennedy Space Center on June 3, which also carried CubeSats from Mongolia and Bangladesh, both also making their debut in space.

The satellite weighs 1kg, and will orbit at 400km above earth. Its Ground Station, from where it will be controlled, is located on ANUC’s campus in the town of Koforidua.

With the launch of GhanaSat-1, Ghana has joined the company of South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, and Mauritius, all of which maintain satellites.