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Past, Present, and Future Space Program


M. Fubara - Geodesy and Geodynamics (UST PH) A. Adenyi - Remote Sensing (University of Lagos) ... Sensing-CRS, Jos; Space Transport-CST, Lagos; Geodesy-CG, Toro; ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Past, Present, and Future Space Program

Past, Present, and Future Space
Program African/Nigerian Experience PROF. P. N.
OKEKE, FAS NASRDA, Centre for Basic Space
Science, Nsukka An invited paper presented at
the First African Leadership Conference on Space
Science and Technology for Sustainable
Development at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.23-25 Nov.
  • Space activity has tremendously changed human
    life on Earth as stated by Dr. Abiodun, Dr.
    Akinyede, and others.
  • It has touched each of the following human
    necessities food, water, shelter, education,
    health care, energy resources, communication,
    transport, security, and adventure.
  • Industrialized countries invest heavily in space
    activity without being too conscious of its
    immediate benefit.
  • African countries are not comfortable to invest
    in basic space research because its immediate
    benefit is not evident.
  • Developing Countries like China, India, South
    Africa Brazil, have successfully joined the World
    Space Club.

  • In the last three years Nigeria and Algeria have
    come to realize the importance of joining the
    World Space Club .
  • A lot has been achieved in space technology
    within the last 50 years and a lot more remains
  • The issue of possible life in Mars and other
    planets is making NASA very restless and in no
    distant time, it might be possible to make the
    permanent extension of human presence beyond the
    bounds of the Earth as already pointed out by Dr.
  • In this paper, we briefly review the past
    achievement of space technology world wide (a
    difficult task), discuss its present status, and
    examine the current role played by African
    Countries and Nigeria in particular in the
    development of space technology.

  • In the past people first studied astronomy and
    atmospheric sciences because of its fascinations
    and challenges.
  • It suprisingly turned out that this led to basic
    discoveries like radio waves, satellite
    communication, TV, fax, telephone, electronic
    mail, aeroplane, weather forecasting,
    telemedicine etc.
  • Before, Space activities was used as an
    instrument for demonstrating military supremacy.
    Today it is for peaceful use.
  • Efforts to build Hi-Tech modern astronomical
    observatories for viewing space, results in
    unbelievable technological spin offs, because
    these instruments requires not only astronomer
    but skilled engineers and technicians in
    electronics, optics, mechanics, computer
    hardwares and softwares to function.

  • It requires advanced industrial capabilities and
    precision engineering to set up an astronomical
    radio and optical telescope, like SALT which was
    commissioned on Nov. 10, 2005. On it way is SKA
    one of the largest radio telescope in the
    world. Big Congratulations to S. Africa.
  • There is enormous competition among advanced
    countries in the building of large ground based
    optical and radio telescopes over the past 30
    years. The reason is not immediately obvious to
    African countries. This is why we think it is not
    a priority exercise.
  • Astronomy has contributed immensely to Medicine,
    electronic receivers, Computer programs,
    industries, and defense to mention a few.

  • 'All Human kind must rise above the Earth to the
    top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only them
    he will be able to fully understand the world in
    which he lives - --Socrates
  • The first artificial satellite - the Sputnik -
    1957 by Russia.
  • A major inspiration in space Tech. and opened
    new techniques.
  • The platform in space can be used either for
    looking outwards to space (for Astronomical
    Research) or downwards on earth (for Remote
    sensing, Meteorology and Space Communication).

  • Today there are thousands of satellites in
    earth's orbit, lunched by several countries.
  • Nigeria and Algeria realizing the importance of
    this technology, did not hesitate in leapfrogging
    to the technology.
  • Satellite can perform several different
    operations depending on the type of payload.
  • Most notably we have Remote Sensing Satellite,
    Communication Satellite, Astronomical Satellite,
    Meteorology Satellite, and Space Station.
  • Nigeria is presently pursuing the development of
    the first two types of satellite.

The Space Science and Technology Sector can be
subdivided into 3 key areas. (i) Space Science
Technology applied to the Earth itself. (a) Earth
Observations Remote sensing, Environmental
monitoring, Meteorology Hundreds of satellite
have played key roles A few include American
LAND SAT, and NOAA, French SPOT, NASA and S.
African SUNSAT , AVHRR, Russian METEOR, and
NIGSAT 1. (b) Terrestrial Uses Satellite
Communication, Satellite Positioning Navigation
Systems, Disaster Warning Mitigation
systems. Here we can mention INTELSAT, AFRISAT,
the GPS involving 24 communication satellites
(which gives accurate position, altitude,
velocity, time and hence useful in navigation in
sea, air, and land) etc and the proposed
(ii) Space Science Technology applied to other
bodies in space (a) Astronomical Observations -
of stars, planets, moons, asteroids, galaxies
the universe, radiation, particles etc. using
ground based space- based instruments.
Existing facilities include Hundreds of ground
based instruments, Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
and New Generation Space Telescope (NGST)
Optical, Chandra X-ray satellites and Japan YOKO
X-ray satellites, Compton GRO Gamma ray
telescope., SIRTF space infrared telescope
facilities, ARISE Advanced Radio Interferometer
between the Earth and Space, LISA Laser
interferometer for gravity waves, black holes and
super massive objects.
(b) Space Exploration Exploitation - arbiters,
landers, flybys, asteroid, comet, rendezvous
etc. NASA, Russia and others have been working
in this area. In particular huge money has been
invested in the construction of Space Patrol
which will monitor the possible collision of a
huge asteroid with the earth, and get it
deflected or destroyed.
(iii) Space Science Technology applied to space
itself (a) Space Sciences Space physical and life
Sciences NASA has dominated this area of
exploration. They have sent several missions to
Mars and other planets. Efforts to establish some
form of life in Mars have intensified. Very soon
spin offs will begin to emerge. (b) Space
Technology Engineering International space
station, Space platforms, Space
Transportation The Russians MIR space station
and the ISS are doing well. With the advances in
solar cell technology, more improved space
station is expected. Space Biology research and
space medicine have intensified over the years.
Space physical science study of crystal growth
and fluid behaviour in microgravity and vacuum
space have also continued to be important
  • Space activities have
  • Moved from its initial role as a prime vehicle
    for displaying ideological and military
    supremacy, to that of being applied to direct
    benefit of man.
  • Now become an essential component of the
    information age.
  • Touched human necessities including food,
    water, shelter, education, health care, energy,
    resources, communications, transportation,
    security, disaster management and adventure.
  • Provides mankind with the potential tools for
    economics development.

BY NIGERIANS 1950-1970, University of Ibadan
Physicists O. Awe, and E.O. Olatunji. et al
ionopheric research C.A Onwumechili, et al
Geomagnetism A.I. Ette et al - Atmospheric
Electricity. E.E Balogun - Satellite meteorology
( OAU Ile-Ife) M. Fubara - Geodesy and
Geodynamics (UST PH) A. Adenyi - Remote Sensing
(University of Lagos) S. Patrick. - Remote
Sensing (Bayero University) 1972 - Present,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka Physicists S.E.Okoy
e - Radio Astronomy P.N.Okeke - Optical, Radio
Astronomy, Solar physics, High Energy
Astrophysics. What is it that retarded such an
early start? The Answer is that Government did
not provide coordination and financial
support. What of other African countries? Only
S.Africa is advancing Little programs are going
on in Egypt, Mali, Algeria, Kenya, Ethiopia etc.
PROGRAMS Initiated by Prof. R.A Boroffice and Dr.
A Abiodun 1976-89 Effort was made by Government
to establish Remote Sensing Centre. 1987,
Government constituted a National Committee on
Space Applications. 1993, Government produced a
draft space policy. 1999, NASRDA was Established
in Abuja. 2001, Final space policy was produced
and approved by the President. 2002, Six NASRDA
development Centres were created (Centre for
Basic Space Science-CBSS, Nsukka Satellite
Development- CSD, Abuja Remote Sensing-CRS, Jos
Space Transport-CST, Lagos Geodesy-CG, Toro
Space Science and Tech. Education-CSTE, Ile-Ife).
  • Development of Human Resources, Capacity
    Building and Education
  • (Via international Collaboration)
  • CBSS and CSTD have well defined plans
    Collaborators include
  • Japan, and S. Africa in Radio and Optical
  • Harvard University - Climatic studies and
    early warning systems.
  • UK , China and Russia - Satellite development
    and lunching.
  • Natural Resource Management
  • (Jointly tackled by CSTD, CRS, and CBSS)
  • -Agriculture, land, water, Ecosystems, plant,
    physical environment
  • Defence and National security
  • Jointly tackled with NASRDA

Study of Earth and Nigerian space Environment
(via international and national collaboration)-
atmosphere, solar effects, weather, air
pollution, ozone layer, gases, lightening and
thunderstorms . CBSS is to handle with
international and national collaborators - USA
and NIMET, Abuja. Space Communication (To
provide services in broadcasting, internet,
education, and telemedicine) to be handled by the
proposed NIGCOMSAT 1 Study of Distant space
Via ground based Astronomical telescopes ( CBSS
to handle this with the collaboration of Japan,
and South Africa)
  • It is observed that space activities has so much
    enabled unprecedented exploration of the
    environment around Earth and is extending this
    even deeper into our universe and its origins.
    However, there is yet a lot to be understood
    Origin of cosmic magnetic field, formation of
    planets and galaxies, life in other planets, dark
    matter in the universe, nature of Massive black
    holes, sun-climate connections, too many to
  • The tremendous effort by NASA and others to find
    origin of life in Mars and other planets should
    not be ignored. Very soon spin offs will begin to
  • It might be even be possible soon for scientists
    to make the permanent extension of human presence
    beyond the bounds of the Earth.. Acording to Dr.
    Abiodun in 1000 years to come we espect
    surprising results.

  • Efforts to discover and understand gravitational
    waves is pointing to a new revolutionary science.
  • The dark matter problem if resolved could have a
    tremendous impact on our place in the universe.
  • We can safely conclude that many discoveries of
    tomorrow, perhaps new energy or something
    revolutionary will undoubtedly emanate from the
    current intensive research in basic space science
    Research in Basics space science is thus an
    important investment for our common future.
    African countries should be encouraged to
    participate bearing in mind that original
    thinking in new directions will yield
    revolutionary results.

  • ? Nigeria launch it own Satellite for Remote
    Sensing and Disaster monitoring in 2003 .
  • The satellite has produced series of valuable
    maps bought and used by stake holders, and a
    number projects have been carried
    out-degradation, Gulley erosion, mineral
    exploration, disaster monitoring, Production of
    Abuja Image maps.
  • ? Fifteen young Engineers and physicists have
    been trained in UK ready to lift frog into the
    technology of satellite.
  • A ground receiving station has been installed at
    Abuja and is manned by our scientists.
  • ?Nigeria is again warming up to build and launch
    a communication satellite by the year 2006.
  • For the first time in 2004, CBSS successfully
    brought together all our space scientists in
    universities and research institutes through a
    workshop to plan as a team, the directions in
    which Nigeria should go in various areas of space
    science. Acording to Dr. Abiodun we should carrry
    them along.

? CBSS has signed and is about to execute a very
serious MOU with Japan National Astronomical
observatory. A Japanese expert in Optical
Astronomy arrived Nigeria on November 16 to teach
researchers on the use of our newly acquired
18cm and 25cm optical telescopes. ? By January
2006 three CBSS researchers will leave for Japan
for well planed Capacity building in Radio
astronomy and instrumentation. ? CBSS is also
sending two researchers to Cape Town in February
2006 to train with the Largest optical instrument
in the southern Hemisphere (SALT). ? CBSS has
floated a Journal of Space Science The
Nigerian Journal of Space Research which will
publish on regular basis original research
carried out by African researchers in various
areas of Space science and technology. The first
volume will be out in December 2005.
9. FUTURE PLANS OF NASRDA As supported by Dr.
Akinyede and others, NASRDA is determined to
Join the world space club in the next few
years. Build up a critical mass of
knowledgeable and trained space scientists.
Intensify the development of Basic space science
and technology from the grass root.
Pursue aggressive development of basic
infrastructure to be able to do things for
Carry out careful co-ordinated capacity
building in advanced countries in all Hi-Tech
areas. Lunch a communication satellite for
solving specific national problems. NIGSAT 2
with better resolution should be pursued with S.
Africa. Acquire capabilities to build Hi-Tech
equipment like Telescopes and accessories by
ourselves. Capabilities to build and lunch
satellites by ourselves. I am extremely happy
that our dear President is fully in support.
10. CONCLUSION Space Sc. and Tech. Development,
is an assignment for all nations. Every Nation
should harness and utilize space. Advanced
countries of the World have done well . Africa
is challenged to join. We should resist to be
follower all the time. We should endeavour to
think in new directions capitalising on our
vantage position. Technology cannot be
transferred. We must do it ourselves, by working
as a team with African Univ. and proper funding
of Basic research by Government.