Nigeria planned to locally launch satellite into space in 2025 — it's no longer possible

Nigeria is not financially ready, but it is developing the needed capacity.

NASRDA also planned to launch a Nigerian astronaut into space [Edexlive]

Shaba said this at the NASRDA Day presentation at the ongoing 8th Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Expo, with theme STI: Solutions to National Economic Challenges in Abuja.

The director-general focused his presentation on New Space: Aligning with the Renewed Hope Agenda.

According to him, while launching of satellite is capital intensive, the agency is not financially ready, but it is developing the needed capacity.

"Presently, we don't have the window to send an astronaut to space, because it is very expensive. It is when we have the slot and make plans within the five years that we can launch an astronaut.

"We cannot advise the government to train an astronaut now when we don't have the slot, the person may probably get older and not fit for space by the time we get a slot.

"For the launch of a satellite, you don't design a big satellite in one year, it takes up to two years. We have all the manpower, but the resources are not here yet, and I doubt if we can achieve that even in 2027," director-general said.

According to him, the agency already has the design of a desired satellite and with the improvement of budgetary allocations, it can build and launch a satellite from Nigeria in the near future.

On the need to review the roadmap expected to have its benchmark in 2025, the director-general said the agency constantly updates it according to current realities, which include exchange rates.

"Space programmes are all encompassing and the agency, overtime, has been developing some space spin-offs that are impacting the economy."

According to him, Nigeria still has an operational satellite, NigeriaSat-2 in the orbit and still providing imagery for the country, Africa and countries across the globe.

The director-general said other achievements of the agency included developing rocketry programme in collaboration with the military, geo-visualisation of terrorists' activities in the North East and crime mapping.

"We recently estimated the population of the Abuja Municipal Area Council, using the NigeriaSat-2's High Resolution Satellite Imagery. This is because we have not had a census in over 10 years which is overdue. So, the estimation was to give a population idea.

"We are also monitoring earth tremors across Nigeria and Africa in collaboration with China to safeguard other African countries," director-general said.

He added that space science and technology require precision, because its development takes time and Nigerians will eventually reap the benefits of satellite technology.

Space technology was initiated in Nigeria for socio-economic development. According to the agency's 25-year roadmap, part of its targets was to launch a Nigerian astronaut in space and an indigenous satellite from Nigerian soil by 2025.

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