Ghana launches first satellite into space

You know it is news like this that brightens up our hearts. Usually, we all hear of cutting edge technology regularly, but usually they all come from either the western nations or the Asian giants. However, the African continent has evolved and is producing brilliant ideas for life and innovations of recent.

Ghana launches its first satellite into space in 2017

Perhaps Ghana is here to change the status quo in terms of indigenous technological breakthrough. Back in 2013, college students in Ghana launched a mini-satellite. It could not do much, it was the size of a soda can and could only measure temperature and air pressure when descending. But the then Director of the Ghanaian Space and Technology Center, Mr Prosper Ashilevi was excited because this meant that there was hope for the a better satellite being launched in the future.

Thankfully, after 2 years of painstaking work, students from the All Nations University in Kaforidua, in conjunction with the Kyutech Institute of Technology in Japan and a modest $50,000 investment , the dream has become a reality. The satellite dubbed the GhanaSat1 was launched from the International Space Center and would orbit the earth at a distance of about 400km. Not bad from the initial soda can satellite which had an initial height of a 165 metres.

While acknowledging the technological challenges of building a satellite, convincing a Ghanaian public which has a poverty level of over 24% was even more difficult. Initial pessimism was widespread. But with government support and the determination of the academia, the dream became a reality.

In a society where illegal mining and environmental degradation are high, some of the main objectives of the satellite would be to monitor and highlight the effects and consequences of these practices and assist to putting a stop to it.

News like this are highly welcome. Not just for Ghana, but for the entire African continent. It is refreshing that for once African news is out there, not about boko haram or poverty, but about us launching our own satellites. 

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