My name is Julia and along with guidance from Alice Gorman I am currently embarking on a directed study of sites, artefacts, and places associated with the Nigerian Space Program as part of my Masters in CHM.
Over the next few months I will be gathering together information about any sites, places or artefacts associated with the Nigerian Space Program in order to establish their significance in a local and international context.
The National Space and Research Agency (NASRDA), was established by the Nigerian Government in 1999, with the sole purpose of establishing a ‘fundamental policy for the development of space science and technology’.
So far, the country has had mixed success with its program. In 2003 it launched NigeriaSat-1, an observational satellite which is part of a Disaster Monitoring Constellation endeavour with other countries such as the UK and China. As part of the project, five of these satellites were launched, with Nigeria contributing NigeriaSat-1. This satellite has now been in orbit for over four years, and has remained successful to this date.
Nigeria’s second and only other attempt was NigComSat-1. Launched in 2007, the satellite lasted only eighteen months out of its fifteen year guaranteed lifespan. Unfortunately, the satellite had to be powered down when its solar power panels became blocked from the sun. The satellite cost an amazing $311 million and caused much controversy from start to finish.
NASRDA’s million dollar failure did not seem to deter Nigeria’s ambition in the slightest. In the pipeline is the re-launch of NigComSat-1, and two more phases: NigComSat-2 (which it hopes to launch in 2010) and NigComSat-3.
Space has suddenly become so much more interesting to me!!!
Stay tuned for more…