Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update on the missing satellite

Its sitting in a car park in orbit around the earth, or something.


CodLiverOil 2:34 pm  

I was pleased to read the Nigeria's satellite (NIGCOMSAT-1) is still alive (if not well). I wish those scientists in Abuja well and hope they succeed in making this project a success.

I think it is crucially important that this project is maintained, other countries have experienced set backs in their space program and didn't throw in the towel (eg the USA). Space with technology, knowledge and science go along with advancement.

It is true that things on the ground (figuratively speaking are a mess). Huge social disparities, politicians setting up pet projects, that have no real medium or long term gain. Political upheavals witness the Niger Delta. Despite all of these things, someone in authority had the vision to set up this project with an eye to the future.

Potentially the benefits of developing this technology could be huge, if followed through in a steadfast and professional manner.

(Check the last paragraph),nigeria-firm-denies-africas-first-comms-satellite-missing-in-orbit.html

What I liked about it, was that if you look at the world, anybody who is anybody has a space program. You name it from the Americans, the Europeans (ESA), Russians, Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Brazilians, South Africans, South Koreans ...

On the African continent, the only nations that have managed anything on the space front are the Algerians, Egyptians and South Africans. All of which have a marginal if not insignificant sub-Saharan contribution.

Nigeria is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa that has dared to raise it's vision above either
1) Being a compliant and complacent producer of commodities, be it agricultural or mineral deposits with no vision of anything better, and are content to remain in a deep slumber (importing anything technical as and when required, being passive participants)
2) Being a strife ridden country, that is unable to feed it's populace and exists due to hand-outs from whoever cares to toss them the odd million to keep them afloat.

It's almost like saying if you're black you have nothing to offer as far as technology goes ("you're just too poor or stupid or both" - as some may erroneously like to think). The most
other African countries could aspire to, was to have the odd inspired individual escape to the US. eg, Joshua Manyara Mochache (of Kenya).

(Paragraph eleven)

Why can't these economic blocks pool their resources and set up some sort of agency? (The wealthier nations contributing more than those less able to). Where research is conducted, even if they can't afford to launch anything, that doesn't rule out research. It seems they are happy be left behind perpetually in the dark, as the rest of humanity marches ahead, and accepts the scraps of technology that are tossed their way.

At least with Nigeria's space program, such a fate for now is at least avoided. I believe Obasanjo in spite of all his faults had the sense to see this as something worth pursuing. The current president Yar'adua is a degree holder in Physics and appreciates what Science has to offer and hopefully will maintain this program and will ignore the many ignorant and selfish people who would rather have the whole thing wound up so that they can advance their selfish ends.

The link for Nigeria's national space agency is:

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