The Chancellor of the All Nations University College (ANUC) and Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng, has called for a new policy focus to harness the potential of Ghana’s new global brand in space engineering.
He said the remarkable feat must be the starting point for a new national policy regime to develop and fully utilise the benefits of space science for national development.
Daasebre Oti Boateng, who is currently attending the 85th session of the United Nations (UN) International Civil Service Commission in Vienna, Austria, in a statement, said the launch of GhanaSat1 had endowed the nation with immense benefits, especially in the areas of national security, education and capability building.
The successful deployment of Ghana's first satellite, GhanaSat1, into space followed a three-phase process with the initial major milestone accomplished on June 3, 2017 when GhanaSat1 was successfully launched aboard SpaceX-Falcon 9 CRS11 spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Centre, making a steady progress on its trajectory towards the International Space Station (ISS).
The second milestone was achieved with the successful rendezvous of the spacecraft with the International Space Station on June 5, 2017 while the final phase was achieved with the weekend's successful deployment of GhanaSat1 from ISS into orbit at an estimated altitude of 400 km above the earth atmosphere via the Japan/Kibo Deployment System.
The statement said Ghana had now joined the elite group of nations with space science programmes and was billed to participate fully in next year's historic meeting marking the 50th anniversary of the first UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
It said the successful deployment of Ghana's first satellite into space from the ISS had placed Ghana on the global pedestal.
It added that GhanaSat1 would beef up and strengthen Ghana’s national security by taking pictures with on-board cameras to monitor Ghana’s coastal regions.
“It will also stimulate and promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related skills by demonstrating the unique power of broadcasting songs from outer space to invigorate the learning process. This will, particularly, encourage our girls to be more interested in and responsive to STEM-related disciplines which will continue to be in high demand and a major pathway to bridging the gender gap in the development process,” it further noted.
The statement said the scientific data and earth observation images taken by GhanaSat1 would be shared with both the government and non-governmental institutions to promote capability building and the utilisation of satellite-based information to solve relevant and pertinent problems in the country.
The statement also noted that the emerging global brand pioneered by the young scientists from the ANUC, Koforidua in the Eastern Region remained a source of pride for all Ghanaians and a remarkable inspiration for the youth to adopt and embrace a globally competitive spirit to make a difference in this era of globalisation.
It commended the young scientists and applauded the cooperation of all stakeholders, particularly authorities at the university, for providing the requisite investment and extensive collaboration with leading universities and institutions worldwide to make this achievement possible.
The young scientists are Mr Benjamin Bonsu, Mr Joseph Quansah and Mr Ernest Teye Matey.