Minister: Nigeria to launch second satellite in 2011
Friday, 17 December 2010
Hamisu Muhammad & Zakariyya Adaramola
Science and Technology Minister Prof. Mohammed Kaoje Abubakar yesterday said the Federal Government, through the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), would launch its second satellite (Nigeria Sat-2) in the first quarter of 2011.
Speaking in Abuja at the 2010 ministerial press briefing of the ministry, Prof Abubakar said the development and construction of high resolution earth observation satellite (SAT-2) has reached an advanced stage and would be launched before April next year.
According to Prof Abubakar, the satellite which is being designed and built by NASRDA engineers in collaboration with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), United Kingdom, will provoke high resolution data revolution in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
The minister said it would also be one of the most advanced satellites in its class because of its ability to image in various modes, adding that it would help to boost agriculture, national security, urban and rural planning, education, transportation, health and energy.
According to the minister, the know-how technology training undertaken by Nigerian scientists and engineers included the building of a flight standard training model called the Nigeriasat-x, which would be launched along with the NigeriaSat-2 as a demonstration of Nigeria?s capability of building future satellites in the country.
Also, the minister disclosed that the FG?s 40 Rural Information Technology Centres (RITC) would be increased to 120 to cover all LGA headquarters in rural areas in the six geo-political zones of the country before the end of this year.
The project, being run by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), would create jobs for youth and enhance dissemination and access to information for rural dwellers.