Uganda’s and Zimbabwe’s first satellites, PearlAfricaSat-1 and ZimSat-1, are scheduled to be deployed from the Japanese Kibo module on the International Space Station (ISS) today. Both satellites were part of the BIRDS-5 constellation, launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on 7 November 2022.
According to a statement released by the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), the agency will launch several cubesats into their respective orbital positions, including Uganda’s PearlAfricaSat-1 and Zimbabwe’s ZimSat-1. The launch can be live-streamed via this link.
The satellites are 1U educational and amateur radio mission CubeSats manufactured by Ugandan and Zimbabwean engineers from the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan. The launch is a milestone expected to enhance both nation’s mineral exploration and environmental monitoring. In addition, it will aid in mapping human settlements and disease outbreaks, among other capabilities, in Zimbabwe. For Uganda, the multispectral camera mission will deliver images with a 20-meter resolution to help analyse water quality, soil fertility, land use, and cover. Furthermore, the satellite will be crucial to the oil and gas business by keeping an eye on the East African crude oil pipeline. Finally, the data collected from the remote sensors will help to detect landslides and droughts and allow more precise weather forecasts.
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