In January 2019, Senegal signed a memorandum of understanding with the Montpellier University Space Center in France and Ariane Group. The first benefits expected since 2021 are finally becoming clearer.
Senegal is moving towards putting its first satellite into orbit, called GAINDESAT. The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) revealed on Friday October 13 that the machine will be received on November 10. The date of its launch will then be revealed by the government.
The construction of this satellite is the result of a partnership agreement signed with the Montpellier University Space Center (CSUM). The center agreed to train the Senegalese engineers and technicians who built the nanosatellite. It took them three years.
The initiative is part of the implementation of the Senegalese national space program called “SenSAT”. It aims to make the space sector a real lever for the socio-economic development of Senegal through the design and operation of space tools with the aim of satisfying the country’s needs in space products and services. Initially planned for 2021, the launch of the first Senegalese satellite was postponed to 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, the Senegalese government announced last May that it was finalizing the construction of a space control center in partnership with the National Center for Space Studies of France and the company Ariane Group. The said center should make it possible to prepare the satellite for its implementation.
“ The importance of space science and technology in supporting decision-making processes for the management of natural resources, territories and sustainable development is today widely recognized at the global level,” said MESRI in a press release . .