Space sciences and technologies: Senegal prepares to launch its first satellite
In January 2019, Senegal signed a protocol of agreement with the Montpellier University Space Center in France and Ariane Group. The first expected repercussions since 2021 are finally becoming more concrete.
Senegal is moving towards launching its first satellite called Gaindesat into orbit. The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) revealed on Friday, October 13, that the ship will be received on November 10. The date of its launch will be announced later by the government.
The construction of this satellite is the result of a collaboration agreement signed with the Montpellier University Space Center (CSUM). The center committed to training the Senegalese engineers and technicians who built the nanosatellite. This took them three years.
The initiative is part of the implementation of the Senegalese national space program called "SenSAT". The objective is to turn the space sector into a true engine for the socioeconomic development of Senegal through the design and operation of space tools to meet the country's needs for space products and services. Originally scheduled for 2021, the launch of the first Senegalese satellite was postponed to 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the Senegalese government announced last May that it was completing the construction of a space control center in collaboration with the French National Center for Space Studies and the Ariane Group company. It is expected that this center will allow the satellite to be prepared for deployment.
The importance of space sciences and technologies in supporting decision-making processes for the management of natural resources, territories and sustainable development is widely recognized worldwide,” MESRI stated in a statement.