Nigeria’s Astronaut To ‘Land’ In Space By 2030
Nigeria’s Roadmap for Development of Space Science and Technology will end in 2030 but not without having an astronaut in space at the end of the programme, a government official has said.
It is a dream and the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Professor Seidu Mohammed, believes will come true.
He says Nigeria would be a space power by 2030, sending an astronaut into space from a Nigerian-owned launch facility on Nigeria’s soil.
The dream is already being pursued, as engineers that 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,” Professor Mohammed told the News Agency of Nigeria in New York U.S.
He expressed optimism that with the current efforts of the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the plan would be actualised.
“We would be able to complete our Assembling, Integration, Testing and Design before 2018, and by 2022, most of these efforts would begin to crystallise.
“The large-scale commercialisation 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,” the NASRDA chief said.
He commended the team of engineers and scientists at NASRDA, saying efforts are ongoing to ensure that by 2018, the first satellite would roll out of the agency’s facility.
According to him, NASRDA remains the number one space agency in Africa, emphasising that it has so far launched five satellites – three earth observation satellites and two communication satellites.
The NASRDA since inception in 2001 has launched five satellites.
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.
Efforts are also on to launch a nanosatellite (an artificial satellite with a wet mass between one and 10 kg 2.2–22 lb) into orbit between May 23 and 27.