Kenya launched its first home-designed satellite, the 1KUNS-PF (1st Kenyan University NanoSatellite-Precursor Flight), on May 11, 2018, and joined the league of African countries that have a presence in Earth orbit. The Kenyan satellite has been launched successfully and is now orbiting purposefully into space.
The Kenyan satellite 1KUNS-PF is a cube satellite and has been made by accomplished scientists of Kenya at the University of Nairobi. The satellite was launched from the Japanese module of the International Space Station. The 1KUNS-PF cube satellite was brought there by SpaceX rocket during a resupply mission. It is important to mention that 1KUNS-PF is not the very first satellite of Kenya. A satellite called ‘Uhuru’ was launched back in the year 1970 from Kenya by NASA. Uhuru was well equipped to know and understand the celestial X-ray astronomy. However, that project did not prove to provide advantages to a lot of Kenyan people. After the launch of Uhuru satellite back then, the recent launch of 1KUNS-PF comes as delightful news for the Kenyans.
The 10-cm-square cube satellite is, in fact, a nano-satellite. The lifespan of this satellite is from one year to eighteen months. After finishing this duration, this Kenyan satellite will de-orbit and blaze up. The 1KUNS-PF nanosatellite of Kenya is expected to serve many purposes. The 1KUNS-PF cube satellite of Kenya has been programmed to serve multiple areas. It is supposed to provide aid and support in weather forecasting, livestock, and food security mapping also. The satellite will also be offering significant information on wildlife by monitoring it in the best possible way. It will also be helpful in managing disasters. The monitoring of crops, management of forest and environmental monitoring are yet more useful functions of this Kenyan satellite.
The Kenyan nanosatellite launched recently is a part of a joint effort between the UN (United Nations) and Japanese space agency. This joint effort between the two aims at supporting and aiding research organizations in developing countries so that these countries can create and enhance their native space technologies. 1KUNS is an addition to Italian-Kenyan University NanoSatellite (IKUNS). It is a project organized by Nairobi University in partnership with La Sapienza and the Italian Space Agency. La Sapienza is a University of Rome. The main aim of the 1KUNS-PF satellite is to test the orbit and verify performance and features of few components.