Kenya builds its first satellite

Tuesday January 23 2018

An artist's impression of an Indian-made nano-satellite in orbit around the Earth with a background image by Thomas Pesquet released on January 10, 2018. Kenya is building its first nano-satellite supported by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. AFP PHOTO | LESIA | OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS-PSL


Engineers from Kenya's University of Nairobi have built the country's first satellite, which will be launched in two months time.

The 10cm cube satellite described as a nano-satellite was supported by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Japan provided the $1 million (£720,000) funding and the platform for construction but it was Kenyan hands that did the building.

The satellite will be used observe farming trends and to monitor the country’s coastline.

It will be sent to the International Space Station in March and then launched into action – by a robotic arm – about a month later.

This would make Kenya one of just six African countries to have sent satellites into space.


The team from the University of Nairobi that developed it was the first to benefit from a joint project – between the United Nations and Japan’s national aerospace agency – aimed at supporting educational institutions from developing countries to manufacture their own satellites.