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FUTA Joins the Space League as Spacex Falcon9 Rocket Launches Birds 1 Satellites

Written by Elvis Boniface

The Federal University of Technology Akure , FUTA , scientific prowess will get a big fillip on Thursday June 1st at 10.55pm (Nigerian time), when the SpaceX Falcon9 Rocket launches Birds 1 satellites, comprising 5 CubeSats belonging to Japan, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria and Bangladesh, into Space from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA.

The Nigerian CubeSat, code name NigeriaEdusat-1, is designed, built and owned by The Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) in collaboration with National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Abuja, Nigeria, and Kyushu Institute of Technology Japan. Mr Ibukun Adebolu of FUTA’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is the representative of Nigeria on the project. Adebolu who is involved in the Stucture Configuration Design, BIRDS Project gives details of his role on the project, “My role in the Birds’ Project is Structure Design.

Drawing on my background in Mechanical Engineering, I am saddled with the task of ensuring that our satellites have sufficient strength and rigidity to survive the rigorous launch and space environments. In order to achieve this, I have to ensure that all payload and Bus System are properly accommodated within the 10 cubic centimeter structure. I find this very challenging, because it involves a lot of optimization and trade-offs. In the future, I hope to work more on other aspects of satellite design”

It is the first ever University satellite to be launched in Nigeria. The CubeSats will be launched and docked to the International Space Station where the satellites will be deployed into lower orbit during the last week of June 2017. The CubeSats launch can be viewed live via the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11y8N22Rq0 and http://www.spacex.com/missions Nigeria’s media outfits are expected to view the launch and capture the reports and photographs for public consumption/information.

The major objective of NigeriaEdusat-1 is capacity building, i. e. domesticating the satellite technology in a Nigerian university, FUTA, and making the technology a common business among staff and students of the university in Nigeria for the purpose of research, resources and environmental management and sustainable socio-economic development of the nation. The satellite technology development in the long run shall have spillover effects on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education that is an essential tool for a country industrial development.

Additional information for the Launch can be found at:
https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/…/rocket-launch-spacex-f

About the author

Elvis Boniface

Ordained Evangelist of the Education Ministry. Learning is my lifestyle, credo and religion. On a mission to disrupt and redirect Africa's Education conversation using Technology and Media. We can do it. Open to discuss any Education initiative and idea. #peace

Speedy reach: +2348185787349 & elvis@edugist.org

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