The declaration by the Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Ewa that Nigeria would send astronauts to space by 2015 has sparked up some controversy on news and social media with many arguing that sending astronauts to space is not what Nigeria needs.
The Minister made the declaration yesterday that Nigeria would launch three satellites and send astronauts to space by 2015.
At the ongoing ministerial briefing to commemorate 2012 Democracy Day and anniversary of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Prof. Ewa enumerated the country’s space programme from now to 2028 when it expects to launch a made-in-Nigeria satellite into space. The move, he said, was part of the government efforts to boost the economy through space technology.
“In 2015 we are preparing to launch NigeriaSAR-1 satellite. The NigeriaSAR is a security satellite with an acronym that stands for Synthetic Aperture Radar.
“This satellite will have a very high resolution that can cover kilometres, and for a backup of the communication satellite there will be NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-3.
“Also because of the experience we gained in Surrey, UK, we are going to build an Assembly Integration and Testing Centre for satellite technology, it is ongoing but this year we will put in more efforts to that technology.
“And before I leave office in 2015 we will send a Nigerian Astronaut into space.’’
While the effort to boost Nigeria’s space technology is laudable, many have argued that there are other aspects of the economy the government can channel its efforts into. Some say that Nigeria should focus on developing the satellite technology on ground first rather than make plans of going into space. Others say that going to space is going to require a huge capital investment which shouldn’t be the country’s priority now.
What’s your opinion? Is going to space a tall order for Nigeria? Is Nigeria capable of sending astronauts to space by 2015? Should Nigeria be sending astronauts to space now?
Please share your thoughts.
News Source: Punch