Zimbabwe’s First Satellite Goes Into Space On 6 November 2022
Zimbabwe’s first satellite, ZimSat-1, is today scheduled to begin its historic journey into space.
ZimSat-1 will start its journey into space through a spacecraft, the Northrop Grumman (NG-18 Cygnus) which will take off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island in Virginia, US, according to The Sunday Mail.
NG-18 Cygnus (is) a commercial cargo resupply mission of the Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with Nasa.
The Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency coordinator Painos Gweme was quoted as saying the rocket would be leaving earth for the International Space Station today. Gweme told the publication:
The actual deployment of ZimStat-1 into space will be through the Japanese module. It is going to be deployed in the KIBO module. It happens two or three weeks after launch (on Sunday) and we have scheduled it for November 21.
The Japanese KIBO is the Asian country’s science module for the International Space Station.
Gweme added that the launch schedule would, however, depend on changes in weather patterns.
It is considered that the launch of ZimSat-1 will help Zimbabwe in land, water and mineral mapping, including weather forecasting, infrastructure planning, border security and disaster prevention.
The launch was previously delayed by inclement weather.
The satellite will host a multispectral camera and image classification tool, as well as a device to transmit and receive signals from amateur radio operators.
The nanosatellite will reach the International Space Station, before its launch into orbit, scheduled for later this month.
ZimSat-1 was built by Zimbabwean engineers, working in collaboration with the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is scheduled to launch it.
Three Zimbabwean scientists have been in Japan, preparing for the launch