The first Zimbabwean satellite, the ZIMSAT-1, will be launched in 2022. Zimbabwean engineers will assemble the nanosatellite, and it has reached an advanced development stage. In addition, flight readiness and review will be done in December 2021, and its launch is expected to take place in Japan in February 2022.
The ZIMSAT-1 is a 1U educational and amateur radio mission cubesat manufactured under the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan. Japan’s space agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will launch it.
“Congratulations and well done for this first national space project which lays the foundation for space and scientific programmes. This is indeed a major step in enhancing the deployment of earth observation technologies in supporting the National Development Strategy,” the President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, said at the launch of the Zimbabwe Science Park and commissioning of the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZNGSA) on 13th September 2021.
Zimbabwe is putting a lot of effort into developing its education system for the development of the nation. ZNGSA is housed in the University of Zimbabwe and manned by the young scientists from the innovation hubs under the Education 5.0 plan. This concept places higher institutions of learning as champions of modernisation and industrialisation.
Launched in 2018, ZNGSA will make it possible for the country to manage its natural resources and mitigate the effects of climate change. Furthermore, it will be deployed for earth observation satellites, global navigation satellite systems, geospatial and space technologies.
Additionally, these developments are part of the country’s plan to catch up with other nations and become an upper-middle-class economy by 2030. Moreso, the president pledged more support to the newly commissioned agency to see the growth of a technology innovation environment that supports the development and use of new technologies.
Ayooluwa Adetola is a writer and editor at Space in Africa. She loves to share scientific information using the simplest words possible. When she’s not in front of a screen, she can be found with her nose buried in a book.