Mohammed said: “Nigeria, along with other four countries – Japan, Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal – in the last one year, came together to work in a constellation to build about five nanosatellites.
“You may ask ‘what are these nanosatellites for?’ It’s a scientific satellite that is to study environmental parameters.
“They would help in most of these environmental issues to study them – environmental characterization.
“In addition to that, they would also be carrying camera that would acquire some form of data.
And what we have also demonstrated by this is the fact that Nigerian engineers and scientists earlier built Nigerian Sat-X using the laboratory in Missouri."
“They’ve gone ahead again to build nanosatellite in the laboratory in Kyushu University in Japan and all these are parts of efforts to sustain technology already transferred to Nigerian scientists and engineers”.
He also noted that Nigerian youths need encouragement in the aspect of careers in space science and technology.
“Those nanosatellites, each time they are within the Nigerian territory, would be singing National Anthem."
“So those who carry UHF radio would be able to receive it and all these are part of Nigeria’s efforts,” he said.
In no distant time, Nigeria is set to become a space power. Projecting this milestone at 2030, the NASRDA director was optimistic of Nigeria’s tech future.
It was also stated that the engineers who design and launch Nigerian satellites are at the Centre for Satellite Technology Development at NASRDA.
“There is a ‘Roadmap for Development of Space Science and Technology’ ending in 2030."
“We hope by 2030, facilities for launch would have been provided in Nigeria so that by that year, we would have launched satellite from Nigeria into space.”
“We would be able to complete our Assembling, Integration, Testing and Design before 2018, and by 2022, most of these efforts would begin to crystallize."
“The large-scale commercialization of space equipment would be possible in our country, and by 2030, we believe that there would be a launching facility from our country."
“We believe before 2030, there will be need for Nigeria to be an international space station,” he chief said."
NASRDA being Nigeria's space exploration governing body has launched up to five satellites since its establishment in 2001.
They include the first satellite, NigeriaSat-I, an international disaster monitoring constellation satellite, built by a UK-based satellite technology company, Surrey Space Technology Limited, was launched in 2003.
NigComSat-I, the second Nigerian satellite was ordered and built in China in 2004; it was Africa’s first communication satellite, launched on May 13, 2007.
NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X, which, respectively, were the third and fourth built by Surrey Space Technology Limited., were launched in Aug. 17, 2011.
The fifth, NigComSat-1R was launched by China on Dec. 19, 2011.