Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, July 07, 2017

National pride at satellite launch

It might not sound like a big deal to countries that have inhabited space stations orbiting the earth, but the announcement of the Nigerian Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA)'s first satellite was the most popular topic in Friday's Nigerian press.

Edusat-1 Satellite Goes Into Orbit Today
The federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) has said that… the Nigerian CubeSat, code-named Nigeria Edusat-1, would be released from the International Space Station 1SS KIBO (Japan Cubicle) into the orbit today…

The Nigerian CubeSat is designed, built and owned by FUTA in collaboration with National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Abuja and Kyushu Institute of Technology Japan…

[Mr. Adebanjo Adegbenro, head of the university's Information Unit] said that with the deployment, the satellites would go round the earth taking images and other critical data, which could be viewed and analysed at the ground stations one of which would be based at the FUTA…

Mr. Ibukun Adebolu from FUTA's Department of Mechanical Engineering… stated… "First, we aim to take low and high resolution pictures of each home country of the participating members of the constellation. Each satellite is equipped with a 0.3 megapixel camera as well as a 5 megapixel camera.

"We hope to capture distinct features of each target country, including borderline images, major rivers etc. The second mission on board each satellite is aimed at space education and outreach. Popular songs and poems are converted into digital format and uplinked to the satellite.

"The satellite stores the uplink file, re-assembles it through an onboard digi-singer synthesiser and retransmits the file as an audio file that can be received on ground by amateur radio operators."

Adebolu noted that the "mission is aimed at promoting interest in satellite technology and space careers among children and youths, who can participate by coding the songs to be re-transmitted during major outreach events…

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