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May 15, 2013
Scientists at the Intelligence Space Systems Laboratory of the All Nations University in Koforidua, have launced the CanSat, a miniature satellite into space on Wednesday.
Joy News’ Fiifi Koomson who was at the space laboratory said the cylindrical CanSat probe measures about 5 inches in diameter and 8 inches in height, has a powerful camera attached to it.
The deployment of the satellite is a precursor to the launch of a conventional, bigger satellite in 2016.
The satellite will gather information on floods, oil spillages among others in its brief stay in space, 200 yards (meters) into the air.
"We hope that this practical demonstration of what can be done by students like them will generate more enthusiasm, fire up their imagination to come up with more creative things, and show that it's possible that they'll one day be able to launch their own real satellite into orbit," said Prosper Kofi Ashilevi, Director of the Ghana Space Science and Technology Center.
A main goal of the project is to bolster interest among students for Ghana's space programme, which is behind those in several other sub-Saharan African countries, notably powerhouses Nigeria and South Africa.
Experts say Ghana is probably a good five years or more from developing its own operational satellites, which could one day be used to confront everything from natural disasters to the smuggling of natural resources.
Wednesday's project starts with just a big balloon to carry aloft the miniature model of a satellite.
At the All Nations University on Wednesday, students and researchers hope to monitor images and other information sent from the model as it descends to the ground. Whether their CanSat clears 200 meters, however, is out of their hands.
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