Six students from Rwanda gained international recognition during World Space Week for their work in designing algorithms for the WonderJourney-1A (WJ-1A) satellite. This achievement is a collaborative effort between the Rwanda Space Agency (RSA) and STAR.VISION Aerospace Limited. ALSO READ: Six Rwandan students develop tech to power China’s first AI satellite The New Times takes a closer look at these students: Amani Murera (26) Currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in Machine Learning at Carnegie Mellon University Africa, Amani also holds a bachelor's in computer and software engineering from the University of Rwanda. Murera believes that combining artificial intelligence with space technologies holds immense potential for addressing a wide range of sustainable development goals. Alice Mugengano (22) A fourth-year student pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science at the University of Rwanda. Mugengano envisions a bright future for Rwanda's space industry, emphasizing the importance of young individuals, particularly women, engaging in AI education. She says, We need young people, especially young ladies, to be interested in learning about AI and how we can use most of its concepts in the space industry. Bienvenu Murenzi (27) Murenzi is pursuing a Master of Science in Information Technology at Carnegie Mellon University Africa and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of Rwanda. Murenzi underscores the algorithm's data-driven decision-making abilities and highlights AI's broader impact on advancing space technology. He said: The algorithm will support hugely data-driven decision making and what was achieved shows more is possible. Gustave Munezero Bwirayesu (25) Bwirayesu is pursuing a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a focus on Applied Machine Learning at Carnegie Mellon University Africa. His background includes a bachelor's in electrical power engineering from the University of Rwanda. He underlines the significance of the Rideshare algorithm in providing valuable land use information, he said: The Rideshare algorithm is set to have a positive impact on various sectors. It will provide vital land use information, serving as a foundational basis for land use analysis and management. This powerful technology will eliminate the need for intensive storage, as the satellite will send only the processed, desired information. El Yadah Ibyigize Kalisimbi (21) Currently a fourth-year student pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science at the University of Rwanda. Kalisimbi envisions the promising applications of AI in creating autonomous systems for space exploration, she said: Depending on my understanding of AI, going further it'll aid in the creation of autonomous systems for space exploration, processing massive amounts of data generated by space agents. It can also be used for communication with astronauts during space missions. Donatha Nyiramaritete (26) Nyiramaritete holds a master's degree in mathematical sciences with a specialization in Data Science from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). She also holds a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and statistics from the College of Science and Technology (formerly Kigali Institute of Science and Technology). According to her: Rwanda's space ambitions, I believe, will advance greatly with the deployment of the 'Algorithm Rideshare Program.' “Our algorithm, combined with the power of AI, holds the potential to drive Rwanda onto the global space agenda. AI can play a pivotal role by optimizing satellite deployment, reducing costs, and improving mission success rates. The 'Algorithm Rideshare Program' can make space more accessible and affordable, enabling Rwanda to expand its presence in space technology, Earth observation, and research, she said.