Kenya’s first satellite, developed by the University of Nairobi (UoN) in collaboration with the University of Rome has been launched into the International Space Station from Florida in the United States. In 2016, the University of Nairobi was selected to be the first beneficiary from the UNOOSA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, KiboCUBE Program.
Under the KiboCUBE programme between the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and JAXA, 1KUNS-PF is the first CubeSat to be deployed from Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station (ISS).
Kenya started its space programme in 2012. The country’s geographic position on the equator makes it ideal to launch satellites into geostationary and other orbits.
The University of Nairobi said the satellite will also be used to test technologies for the launch of a larger earth observation satellite in the future. Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma hailed the launch as a milestone in Kenya’s exploration into space. The satellite will be mainly to observe farming trends and monitor the coastline.