The International Astronautic Federation (IAF) has conferred the 2017 Best Interactive Presentation Award to Mr Benjamin Bonsu, the leader of the GhanaSat-1 Project that launched Ghana’s first satellite into space on July 7, 2017.
The award was given in recognition of his presentation on GhanaSat-1 and the current space activities in Ghana at the 68th International Astronautical Congress held in Adelaide, Australia in September 2017.
His presentation, titled: “First Ghana satellite to enhance sustainable space programme in Ghana,” won the Space and Society Category, making him one of the best five award winners from Germany, Ghana, Italy and Malaysia. The award winners were selected among the 538 participants in the ceremony.
As part of his award, Mr Bonsu was offered 300 euros, a one-minute video capsule, an opportunity to talk about his paper which will be published on IAF Youtube page and other television networks globally, as well as a gala dinner with major space experts.
The Interactive Presentation Award is awarded annually to recognise exceptional students and young professionals who demonstrate leadership early in their academic and professional careers.
Additionally, award recipients are recognised, among others, for their contributions to astronautics through their academic and professional activities, as well as their efforts in sharing their knowledge and experience with other young people.
After receiving the award, Mr Bonsu expressed appreciation to the President of the All Nations University College (ANUC), Dr Samuel H. Donkor, for sponsoring the GhanaSat-1 Project, which was part of the Birds Project of the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KYUTECH) in Fukuoka, Japan.
“The Birds Project is one of the unique projects where developing countries can build their capacity in satellite development, mission planning and disposal.
“Today, Ghana, by virtue of the Birds Project, is part of the global space community,” he said, and urged the government to support university-based approach in building capacity in space science technology in the country.
Mr Bonsu, who is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Applied Science for System Engineering at KYUTECH, and his colleagues—Joseph Quansah and Ernest Teye Matey--designed, assembled and tested Ghana’s first satellite, christened “GhanaSat-1” which was launched into space in July 2017.
The trio, former students of ANUC were part of the Birds Project implemented by the Graduate School of Engineering of the KYUTECH for five nations aspiring to be space-faring.