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Africa

Kenya’s First Satellite in Orbit, But Still No Space Agency

Kenya's first indigenously-built satellite was launched by a SpaceX Falcon-9 space launch vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS) on 2 April 2018 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite, called First Kenya University Nano Satellite-Precursor Flight (1KUNS-PF) was built by a team from the University of Nairobi, with technical assistance from staff from the University of Rome, and co-funded by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) as part of the KiboCUBE programme.

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Nigeria’s NigComSat to Receive $550 Million Investment From China Great Wall Industry Corporation

The Nigeria Communications Ltd. (NigComSat) company, the operator of the NIGCOMSAT-1R communications satellite, is set to receive U.S.$550 million equity investment from the satellite's manufacturer, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), the Nigerian Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu told Nigerian newspaper Punch on 2

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#SpaceWatchGL Interviews: Andrei Rebrov of Precious Payload

Precious Payload, the brain child of Russian entrepreneurs Andrei Rebrov and Andrey Maskimov, is aiming to transform the way in which small satellite operators secure their launches. As we heard at Satellite 2018 this year, small satellites are being hit by a launch bottleneck and are mostly reduced to piggybacking on larger satellite launches and settling for what they can get. This can impact negatively on schedules and revenues.

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Nigeria’s NigComSat in Talks With Türksat to Jointly Develop Markets in Africa

Struggling NigComSat is looking to Türksat to develop its satellite communications market in Africa. The Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd, NigComSat, has been talking with Turkish satellite operator, Türksat A.S., about the possibility of expanding their market across various industries to deepen services at more affordable rates.

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South African Space Agency Expanding Cooperation, Though Funding Challenges for EOSat-1 Remain

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is on the verge of mounting a large expansion of its cooperative efforts with other African countries, and potentially with the European Space Agency (ESA) as well, according to the SANSA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Val Munsami in an interview with Engineering News …

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#SpaceWatchGL Op’ed: NewSpace and the Geoeconomic Space Race to Come in the Indian Ocean Region

With China’s Belt and Road Initiative coming under criticism, and a proposed infrastructure programme in the offing from the so-called ‘Quad’ powers of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, ThorGroup GmbH Chairman and President, Dr. John B. Sheldon, argues that the Quad powers tap the potential of their NewSpace …

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UK’s Earth-i Receives UKSA Funding for Agricultural Monitoring in Kenya and Rwanda

Earth-i, the UK-based Earth observation company, has been awarded a grant of £2.7 million from the UK Space Agency’s (UKSA) International Partnership Programme, which supports UK space firms tackling global challenges. The grant will enable Earth-i to launch the ACCORD programme in Kenya and Rwanda. ACCORD has been specifically developed …

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Satellites Over the Mediterranean: SpaceX Successfully Launches Spain’s PAZ Reconnaissance Satellite

SpaceX successfully launched Spain’s high-resolution synthetic aperture radar  (SAR) PAZ reconnaissance satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, on Thursday, 22 February, 2018. The successful launch of PAZ is the latest by a Mediterranean country and intensifies the space-based surveillance and reconnaissance competition of the geopolitically important sea. The …

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#SpaceWatchGL Interviews: Tor-Arne Grönland of GomSpace

Nanosatellite manufacturer GomSpace is going from strength to strength, fuelled by the innovative small satellite sector and an increased demand for small satellites that can perform a wider range of missions than ever before. In October 2016, GomSpace acquired nanosatellite propulsion specialist, NanoSpace, after establishing a partnership on several customer …

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[email protected] Op’Ed: Small Satellites Everywhere, for Everything, Forever?

The small satellite phenomenon continues to gather momentum, but is this something we can count on lasting well into the future? Is the smallsat here to stay? Stephen Ennis of the Small Satellite Project Group at the Space Generation Advisory Council gives his perspective on this fascinating question. From within …

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