SAPIENZA COLLABORATES ON FIRST KENYAN SATELLITE

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December 6, 2016 – 3:00 pm
Council Lecture Hall, Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering

Kenya is ready to send its first satellite into orbit in collaboration with Sapienza University.

The 1Kuns Satellite, which stands for “First Kenyan University Satellite” will be built by a team of university students from Nairobi University and Sapienza University in Rome with the support of the Italian Space Agency. The CubeSat is a small cubic satellite that should be completed in 2017 and will be used to observe the Earth.

The satellite will be assembled by students of the International Master Course in Space Mission Design and Management organized by the Astronautics, Electrical and Energetics Engineering Department at Sapienza University in collaboration with the University of Nairobi.

Mwanghi Mbuthia, the scientific representative of the Engineering School of Nairobi University will visit Rome on December 6 to illustrate the project and meet with the Project Scientific Manager, Fabrizio Piergentili from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Fabio Santoni, Master Course Director from the Department of Astronautics, Electrical and Energetics Engineering.

The idea developed as part of the Ikuns contract, which was already part of a Sapienza-ASI Agreement for the management and development of research activities at the Sapienza Broglio Space Center managed by ASI in Malindi, Kenya. The project brings together both scientific and technological objectives and promises to have a great educational impact.

The 1Kuns Satellite is an extraordinary goal for a developing country such as Kenya and a unique opportunity for students at the two universities, who will be able to work in a stimulating international environment. The competitive character of the Italo-Kenyan university team and the value of its work has been rewarded when the 1Kuns-KenyaSat Mission was selected by UNOOSA – Spatial Affairs Office of the UN and JAXA – the Japanese Spatial Agency, selected it to be launched into orbit on board of the Japanese KIBO module on the International Space Station.

The official announcement of the first Kenyan CubeSat was held at the “UN-IAF Workshop on Space Technology for Socio-Economic Benefits,” organized in September by the United Nations in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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