Zimbabwe to send 3 new satellites into space 

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March 25, 2024
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2 min read
satellite

The news: 

  • Zimbabwe plans to expand its presence in space with the launch of three additional satellites.
  • One of the satellites, ZimSat-2, an Earth Observation satellite, is said to have reached the advanced features stage and is set to launch in late 2024. 
  • The development of the two other satellites is currently in its early production stages, following the approval of the government of Zimbabwe. 

The new development comes after the southern African nation successfully launched ZimSat-1, its initial Earth Observation CubeSat, into space in November 2022. 

According to Zimbabwe's Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube, the country has partnered with Japan to complete this project, as it did the previous one.

As part of the collaboration, Japan will train graduates to lay the groundwork for Zimbabwe to manufacture its satellites in the future. Ncube stated that in addition to the three currently planned satellites, more are in the works. 

In a separate statement, Painos Gweme, the Coordinator of the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINSGA), confirmed that the agency is working with various partners to design, manufacture, assemble, test, and launch satellites following Zimbabwe's national space strategy.

Gweme, who assured that the government would announce the progress on ZimSat-2 in June 2024, also reaffirmed the country's long-term goal of manufacturing space satellites domestically. 

In addition to ground station setup, uplink and downlink data, satellite monitoring and control throughout their orbital life, the collaborative training will cover satellite design, production, testing, and launch. 

"The main purpose of these earth observation satellites is to provide scientific data on the country's current situation," Gweme explained. 

The ZimSat-1 satellite was an educational Earth Observation Cubesat designed to map land use, land cover, and water quality monitoring, transmitting data from orbit to the command centre at the Mazowe ground station. It has since become critical in agricultural and mining mapping initiatives. 

On the other hand, the ZimSat-2 project will also be an Earth observation satellite, but with more capabilities than the previous one.

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