By NAL staff writer
Nigeria on Wednesday successfully launches two of its new strategic space satellites, NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X. The two satellites designed and developed by SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Limited), a UK based space technology company were launched at 07:12:20 UTC (about 2:10am Nigerian time ) from Yasny, Russia into the space.
According to SSTL press release, NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X “will provide Nigeria with the ability to enhance food security through monthly crop monitoring, assist with burgeoning urban planning demands and, through the development of engineering skills, will advance the growth of new technologies in Nigeria.”
President Goodluck Jonathan while reacting to the successfully launching, praised the country’s team of engineers and their partners.
“I congratulate our nation for this new chapter in our transformational efforts as we strive for self reliance. Let me also congratulate the resourceful Nigerians who made this history possible.”
The president further urges professionals in both the public and private sector sto take advantage of the new space technology for improve planning and policy undertaking.
In a similar statement, and quoted by SSTL, NASRDA head, Dr S.O Mohammed, said: “This is a great day for the Nigerian space industry and builds on the success of NigeriaSat-1, launched in 2003. NigeriaSat-2 will significantly boost African capabilities for remote sensing applications, specifically for natural resource management. This high resolution satellite will also greatly enhance image data available to the Disaster Monitoring Constellation. Through a comprehensive training programme, Nigerian engineers have worked on the design and build of NigeriaSat-X, benefiting Nigeria’s growing space industry and inspiring development of new technologies.”
In September 2003, Nigeria launched its first national satellite tagged NigeriaSat-1 with a life-span of 5 years. It’s to be replaced with NigeriaSat-2, which has a lifespan of 7years and a more advance earth observation technology.