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Why space technology now: An opportunity for Rwanda

One of the most significant events that shaped the space industry in 2015 was the first reuse of rockets by SpaceX. Earlier, in June 2014, Russia used a rocket to simultaneously launch 37 satellites.

Currently, many countries can launch multiple satellites in a single mission. For example, NASA and the US Air Force launched 29 satellites during a 2013 mission.

 

At the time, the mission represented the largest number of satellites launched at any given time.

 

In 2015 and 2016, China and India launched 20 satellites in a single mission, respectively. This trend shows that the cost of sending satellites into space will be significantly reduced in the future.

 

More and more remote sensing resources are becoming available. As all know Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) strikes us without mercy but one in many capabilities of a human being is resilience to the problems, one of many solutions was and still of using technology to carry out our daily activities, which is in layman terms “space technology”  

Space technology provides a unique factual view that can help us overcome the greatest challenges. The information provided by these spacecraft can help us increase agricultural production, protect habitat loss, and prevent deforestation.

They discovered holes in the ozone layer, and today's data is still the key to fighting climate change. They help us connect the world via the Internet and communications, which are millions of invisible services. So far, space satellites have done a lot of work for us and in the future, they will provide more services.

The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 sum up the current challenges of the World. Space technology is one of the many important tools that can be used to help us to achieve those goals, below are some example of Goals and how can be achieved with the usage of Space technology.

Goal 6: Clean Water

Space technology can widely and effectively monitor the water level in the reservoir, providing early warning and unified data for countries suffering from water shortages.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger 

Space technology can inform crop production pixel by pixel, allowing farmers to better decide when to add water or fertilizer and when to harvest. We can establish a vegetation index that represents the vitality and productivity of crops. Agricultural land represents 39 % of the land area, and space technology has the unique ability to collect data over such a vast territory

 Goal 15 Life on Land

Space technology can help monitor and protect wildlife habitats by identifying indicators of threatening development or destruction and reminding authorities to intervene and stop it as soon as possible.

One of our growing sectors is tourism, by using space technology to monitor the gorillas and other wildlife animals can save the government taxpayer’s money.

Communications, medical research, materials research, military service, entertainment, navigation, weather observations, crop/ agriculture monitoring, climate change monitoring, space observations and environmental monitoring to name just few those are application where space technology can help to improve productivity or better understanding.

With Vision of H.E Paul Kagame on science and technology, Rwanda’s Choice to invest in space technology speaks itself, in a few years ago, Rwanda has successfully launched a Satellite Icyerekezo into Orbit to help to boost the connectivity to the rural part of Rwanda.

Therefore, this is a better starting to own the data as well as the infrastructure.

There is endless opportunity to use space technology as we have seen it in this article, during this month we will embark to explain this huge topic by detailing each importance to the society of Rwanda, as we are planning our next article to be “How to use Space technology to mitigate the natural disasters. As we conclude is better to go with a note by quoting former US President John F. Kennedy;

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. After all, that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win”.

This shows us that a human being can do everything while embracing the technology and their usage.

The writer is a researcher at Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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