On 7 November 2022 Zimbabwe and Uganda launched their first satellites. Zimbabwe’s ZimSat-1 and Uganda’s PearlAfricaSat-1 are part of the BIRDS-5 constellation, which is now on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). The satellites are scheduled to be released from the Japanese Kibo module on 21 November 2022.
The launch of these satellites can be seen as a milestone for the efforts in space activities for Zimbabwe and Uganda, supporting mineral exploration, monitoring of environmental hazards and droughts, human settlement and disease outbreak mapping, and other potential fields of applications.
BIRDS-5 is a constellation of CubeSats, and a project led by the Graduate school of Engineering of the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan.
Image Source: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/topics/cubesats