KSA to Launch Locally-made Rocket in 2021

(L-R) KSA's Acting DG, Col Hillary Kipkosgey and Dr Shohei Aoki. Source: KSA

During a courtesy visit to Kenya Space Agency Acting Director-General, Col Hillary Kipkosgey, Dr Shohei Aoki announced that the JICA Expert Africa -ai- Japan Project team are currently working on the Nakuja-2.

In May 2021, six JKUAT (Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture And Technology) Mechatronic students presented the Nakuja-1 rocket launch for their external industrial attachment. They had been working on the project since January 2021, developing a solid motor-fueled rocket model. The students, Ian Kibandi, Felix Gateru, Sammy Oina, Jeff Mboya, Rodney Osodo, and Mike Kimani,  were under the guidance of Dr Shohei Aoki, Dr Bernard Owiti, and Mr Ben Maniafu.  

Furthermore, according to Dr Aoki, the project started in 2019 with the overall aim of launching the liquid rocket that can bring Nano-satellite into low earth orbit by 2024.

Dr Shohei Aoki leads the JICA Expert Africa -ai- Japan Project team developing the launch rockets. The Nakuja-1 uses solid propellant. During test-launch, it rose to 32 metres, similar to a 10-storey building. Additionally, the team is currently working on Nakuja-2, which also uses solid propellant. The Nakuja-2 rocket launch was scheduled for September 2021. The KSA has promised to work with the team to make this a reality. After completing this project, the team would begin working on developing a rocket using liquid propellant. These rockets will be developed locally, using locally available materials.