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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

ZIMSAT-1 launched into space

By John Nhandara

Zimbabwe has made history by successfully launching its first satellite, ZIMSAT-1, into space this Monday.

Zimbabwe successfully launched its satellite ZIMSAT-1 into orbit this Monday after the launch was postponed due to reports of a fire alarm at the mission control centre this Sunday.

ZIMSAT-1 was deployed into international space through a spacecraft, NG 18 Cygnus, which took off from the Mid Atlantic regional Spaceport at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA in Virginia in the United States.

The launch was a culmination of a project that began in 2019 when President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned the Zimbabwe National Geo spatial Agency (ZINGSA) with a view to enhancing technology innovations.

Zimbabwe will derive maximum benefits such as enhancement of mineral exploration and mapping of human settlements through the earth observation and data transmission satellite.

The satellite will also provide data analysis and prediction of weather patterns and droughts as well disaster monitoring, while it will be also possible to execute other assignments such as assessment of water quality and soil fertility.

The satellite was developed by three Zimbabwean engineers working with the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan.

The three are Ramson Munyaradzi Nyamukondiwa, Victor Mukungunugwa and Timothy Kudzanayi Kuhamba.

For Kuhamba, a former ZBC staffer, the launch is a dream come true after he wrote in 2014 ‘I have a dream’ on his Facebook page.

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