AFRICA’S most populous nation Nigeria is playing a key role in Africa’s science and technology development as demonstrated by the West African nation’s launch of two satellites into orbit on Wednesday.
President Jonathan called the event “another milestone in our nation’s effort to solve national problems through space technology”.
In a move aimed at ensuring proper disaster monitoring and security of the West African nation, Nigeria launched NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X in the late afternoon of Wednesday.
NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X spacecraft were taken into orbit aboard a Russian Dnepr rocket from a launch pad in the town of Yasny, southern Russia.
President Jonathan congratulated his country’s scientists for being “resourceful” and for putting the West African nation on the world map of technology.
“I congratulate our nation for this new chapter in our transformational efforts as we strive for self-reliance. Let me congratulate the resourceful Nigerians who made this history possible,” said President Jonathan.
Both satellites were built at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford, under contract with the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
But 26 Nigerian engineers worked alongside SSTL engineers in Guildford to assemble the 100kg NigeriaSat-X satellite.
In a statement, the government said the two satellites would be used for forestry mapping, disaster monitoring, military applications and security, among other applications.