Nigeria will launch another satellite into orbit between May 23 and May 27.

It is Africa’s first nanosatellite (an artificial satellite with a wet mass between one and 10 kg 2.2–22 lb).

Announcing the plan, the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Professor Seidu Mohammed, said the satellite would be launched alongside 4 other countries.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria in New York U.S., that the nanosatellite would be launched “from the launch base at Miami, Florida, U.S”.

The scientific satellites will study the environment parameters.

“They would help in most of these environmental issues to study them – environmental characterisation.

“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 said.

The NASRDA chief also explained that in addition to the feat achieved by the Nigerian engineers, there was the need to encourage the youth to take career in space science and technology.

Satellites Will Sing National Anthem

“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.

According to him, the latest satellite to be launched is another feat achieved by the Nigerian engineers.

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.

Nigeria has placed a few satellites into orbit but most remarkable is NigComSat-1 which was a communication satellite.

It was the first African geosynchronous communication satellite, when it was launched at 16:01 UTC on May 13, 2007, aboard a Chinese Long March 3B carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China.

The spacecraft was operated by Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), but it failed in orbit on November 11, 2008, after running out of power due to an anomaly in its solar array.

On December 19, 2011 another satellite, NigComSat-1R, was launched as a replacement for the failed NigComSat-1. The 'R' in the name apparently stands for replacement.