Girls to design Africa’s first private space satellite

They become part of a group of high school women from Cape Town, South Africa, who have actually developed and developed payloads for a satellite that will orbit over the earth’s poles scanning Africa’s surface area.

When in area, the satellite will gather info on farming, and food security within the continent.

Utilizing the information transferred, “we can try to determine and predict the problems Africa will be facing in the future”, describes Bull, a trainee at Pelican Park High School.

“Where our food is growing, where we can plant more trees and vegetation and also how we can monitor remote areas,” she states. “We have a lot of forest fires and floods but we don’t always get out there in time.”

Info got two times a day will go towards catastrophe avoidance.

It becomes part of a task by South Africa’s Meta Economic Advancement Company (MEDO) working with Morehead State University in the United States.

Enthusiastic very first

The women (14 in overall) are being trained by satellite engineers from Cape Peninsula University of Innovation, in a quote to motivate more African ladies into STEM (science, innovation, engineering, mathematics).

If the launch achieves success, it will make MEDO the very first personal business in Africa to construct a satellite and send it into orbit.

“We expect to receive a good signal, which will allow us to receive reliable data,” states a passionate Mngqengqiswa, of Philippi High School. “In South Africa we have experienced some of the worst floods and droughts and it has really affected the farmers very badly.”

By 2020 80% of jobs will be related to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics), MEDO predicts, but currently only 14% of  the STEM workforce globally are women.
Dry spell and ecological impacts from environment modification have actually continued to pester the nation in the last few years. An El Niño caused dry spell caused a shortage of 9.3 million lots in southern Africa’s April 2016 maize production, according to a UN report.

“It has caused our economy to drop … This is a way of looking at how we can boost our economy,” states the young Mngqengqiswa.

Motivating women

The girls' satellite will have a detailed vantage point of South Africa's drought crisis which led to a shortfall of 9.3 million tons in southern Africa's April 2016 maize production.

Preliminary trials included the women programs and introducing little CricketSat satellites utilizing high-altitude weather condition balloons, prior to ultimately assisting to set up the satellite payloads.

The girls learning science in defiance of Boko Haram

Little format satellites are low expense methods of collecting information on earth rapidly. Tests up until now have actually included gathering thermal imaging information which is then translated for early flood or dry spell detection.

“It’s a new field for us [in Africa] but I think with it we would be able to make positive changes to our economy,” states Mngqengqiswa.

Eventually, it is hoped the task will consist of women from Namibia, Malawi, Kenya, and Rwanda.

Mngqengqiswa originates from a single moms and dad family. Her mom is a domestic employee. By ending up being an area engineer or astronaut, the teen wishes to make her mom proud.

“Discovering space and seeing the Earth’s atmosphere, it’s not something many black Africans have been able to do, or do not get the opportunity to look at,” states Mngqengqiswa.

The schoolgirl is right; in half a century of area travel, no black African has actually travelled to deep space. “I want to see these things for myself,” states Mngqengqiswa, “I want to be able to experience these things.”

Her group mate, Bull concurs: “I want to show to fellow girls that we don’t need to sit around or limit ourselves. Any career is possible — even aerospace.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.