Zimbabwe’s first satellite was launched into orbit on Friday, following its successful launch into space last month, state news agency New Ziana reported Friday.
The satellite, named ZimSat-1, was launched into orbit on Friday from the International Space Station where it arrived last month, according to New Ziana.
Project manager Victor Mukungunugwa said the satellite would play a key role in the development of solar farms and help the country deal with power challenges. “The satellite will also provide solar illumination mapping for effective solar farm distribution.”
Through solar illumination, the satellite maps the regions where there is high solar intensity and thereby optimizing the deployment of solar farms, Mukungunugwa said.
Zimbabwe is facing acute power shortages due to obsolete equipment and water shortages at the main hydro plant. Mukungunugwa said the satellite gives impetus to the pursuit of strategies meant to ensure a healthy energy mix to guarantee sufficiency.
Zimbabwe has already expressed its determination to accelerate the use of renewable energies such as solar to boost local power generation capacity.
Other economic sectors, such as agriculture, would also greatly benefit from the satellite, including through the provision of vital information such as soil fertility assessments, harvest estimates, and crop health.
The satellite also has the ability to provide data on water quality and provide early warning services for incoming natural disasters such as floods and landslides. It is also expected to enhance mineral exploration and mapping of human settlements. Enditem