After its launch into the International Space Station last month, the RWASAT-1 CubeSat is ready to be launched into orbit later this year, it was announced at a joint press conference between the Rwanda Utility and Regulatory Authority (RURA), the Ministry of ICT & Innovation, and the Japanese Embassy on October 8, 2019.
Patrick Nyirishema, RURA Director-General told the launch is tentatively scheduled for November 18.
“Rwanda is new on this journey of lean space technology, but we chose to build capacities on this initial journey. In the past, satellite technology was in bulk satellites that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. We are now going into a time where it’s possible to build low-cost satellites that can achieve many applications,” commented Nyirishem.
Rwanda’s Minister for ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire added: “Since we signed the agreement with the University of Tokyo, it has opened doors to Rwandan engineers to use their laboratories for assembly, integration, and testing of RWASAT-1.”
Rwanda is exploring more satellite opportunities as part of its National Space programme with the aim of promoting precision agriculture.
Most countries in Africa are attempting to launch mini satellites into low-earth orbit with the aim of collecting data that can help them improve agriculture and other activities on home ground.