NIGERIA AND SPACE PROGRAMS

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The agency that is concern with space programs in Nigeria is The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and is a part the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.

The Nigerian government has launched five satellites into outer space. The satellites include:
(i) The NigeriaSat-1
(ii) The NigComSat-1
(iii) The NigeriaSat-2
(iv) The NigeriaSat-X
(v) The NigComSat-1R

The NigeriaSat-1
This was the first Nigerian satellite built by a United Kingdom based satellite technology company – Surrey Space Technology Limited (SSTLtd) under the Nigerian government sponsorship for $30 million.

It is a satellite of the standard Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) design. It has 100kg mass and carries an optical imaging payboard developed to provide 32m ground resolution with an exceptional wide swath width of over 640km.

The payboard was green, red and near infrared bands. The satellite was launched by Kosmos-3m rocket from Russian Plestsk Spaceport on the 27th September 2003.

Its primary objectives were to give early warning signal of environmental disaster; to help detect and control desertification in the Northern part of the country; map out state and
international borders.

NigComSat-1
This was a satellite launched aboard a Chinese Long March 3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China.

Unfortunately, on 10th November (09:00 GMT), the satellite was reported switched off because it lost both of its solar arrays.

It was built to provide rural internet access and it was the first African communication satellite.

NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X
These are the third and fourth Nigerian satellites and were built as a high resolution earth satellites by Surrey Space Technology Limited for disaster monitoring constellation system also.

It has 2.5 metres resolution panchromatic (very high resolution), 5-metres multispectral (high resolution, Near infrared, green and red bands) and 32 metres multispectral (medium resolution, Near infrared, green and red bands) antennas.

These were built at a cost of over £35 million. These satellites were launched into space orbit by Ukrainian Dnepr rocket from a Yasny military base in Russia on the 17th August, 2011 and they both have 300kg mass each to replace NigeriaSat-1.

NigComSat-1R
This satellite is to replace the failed NigComSat-1 and was launched by China on 19th December 2011 with no cost to
Nigeria.

It is located at an orbital position of 42.50E with a life span of 15years.

For mor information, visit http://www.nigcomsat.com

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