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The 11th of May marks a historic day for all Kenyans as the country becomes the only ninth African country with a satellite. At exactly 1:30 pm, astronaut Norishige Kanai from the ISS. The satellite has been developed by a team of scientist from the University of Nairobi and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Although the announcement came as a surprise to many Kenyans, the journey to develop and launch the satellite began back in August 2016 when the University won a United Nations grant. This device will be used for monitoring the weather, wildlife, forest, disasters, and communication. This means the country will be able to observe what is going on in the country and quite possibly react fast in the event of a disaster.

The satellite will orbit for a year in which the developers are quick to point out that it will be going around the earth in 90 minutes which is an average of 9 kilometers per second. A ridiculous speed for anything man-made.

Amina Mohamed who was present for the launch hailed the University of Nairobi for their involvement and called for Kenyans to be inspired to study more about space science. The same message was echoed by the man with the launch button (Norishige Kanai) saying he hopes other Kenyans are motivated to get into space science.

The president has also acknowledged the event and the role that the government of Japan has played, having sponsored the project with a whopping 100 million Kenyan shillings. Personally, I congratulate the University of Nairobi for the milestone they have achieved and I hope they continue putting Kenya on the forefront of technology and indeed space science.

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John Kiguru

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