1KUNS Team is delivering the CubeSat Credit: Mwangi
"This is a great opportunity for the University of Nairobi (UoN) to continue its nanosatellite capacity building, which is a huge positive for the nascent space sector in Kenya. As a consortium, we are very grateful to UNOOSA and Avio S.p.A. for granting us the opportunity to launch a 3U CubeSat, free of charge. This will go a long way in enhancing capacity not only at UoN, but in Kenya in general. The NaSPUoN-0GPM2030 nanosatellite will herald a new level of space utilization by Kenya and will include an earth observation mission to demonstrate and serve diverse local earth imagery needs. This opportunity cements the great impact of our collaboration with the Kenya Space Agency, University of Arizona and Space Trust." Mwangi Mbuthia, Project Coordinator of 1KUNS.
Mission e-patches awarded to the University of Nairobi
The first satellite of Kenya, 1KUNS-PF has been deployed from the International Space Station on 11 May 2018 thanks to KiboCUBE. The initial goal of the team from the University of Nairobi was to design, develop, and operate a CubeSat-class satellite to test technologies it has developed for the future launch of a larger earth observation satellite and hoped to apply data acquired from its CubeSat to the monitoring of agriculture and coastal areas. 1KUNS-PF was deployed in orbit on 11 May 2018 and re-entered the atmosphere in June 2020.
UNOOSA and Avio have selected a consortium led by the University of Nairobi in Kenya, joined by the University of Arizona from the United States of America and the non-profit organization Space Trust as the first awardee of the 'Accessing space with Vega C' programme. The "NaSPUoN-0GPM2030" satellite is a 3U class CubeSat aiming at building capacity in Kenya by bringing together international partners with existing technical capabilities. The satellite will be developed at the University of Nairobi supported by the University of Arizona and Space Trust.