Nigeria to send astronauts aloft by 2015
Abuja, May 18 (IANS) Nigeria says it will send aloft astronauts by 2015 and launch three satellites.
Minister of Science and Technology Ita Okon Bassey Ewa announced this at a briefing here to commemorate Democracy Day 2012 and the anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration. He said the move was part of government's efforts to boost the economy through space technology.
The minister enumerated the country's space programme from now to 2028 when it expects to launch a Made-in-Nigeria satellite into space, Xinhua reported.
"In 2015 we are preparing to launch NigeriaSAR-1 satellite. The NigeriaSAR is a security satellite with an acronym that stands for Synthetic Aperture Radar," he said Thursday.
"This satellite will have a very high resolution that can cover many kilometers, and for a backup, there will be NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-3," Ewa said.
"Also because of the experience we gained in Surrey, we are going to build an Assembly Integration and Testing Center for satellite technology. It is ongoing but this year we will put in more efforts to that technology," he said.
"And before I leave office in 2015 we will send a Nigerian astronaut into space," he said.
The minister said by 2018 Nigeria would launch a manufactured satellite and in 2025 develop a rocket and propulsion system.
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