UoN Students Join Historic Mission Flying World Leaders to Space

  • Entrance to the University of Nairobi (left) and a spacecraft taking off.
    Entrance to the University of Nairobi (left) and a spacecraft taking off.
    File
  • University of Nairobi (UoN) students are now part of a historic space mission targeting world leaders including wealthy billionaires.

    Namira Salim, a Dubai-based diplomat is working towards sending a peace mission to space through her non-profit organisation, Space Trust.

    Speaking to the press, she noted that the mission, dubbed Peace Satellite Project (PSP), will adopt the Nanosatellite Platform for University of Nairobi (NaSPUoN), which is currently a 1U (bench model) CubeSat.

    Drawing from her own experience, Salim further noted that she is trying to get the world leaders into space so that they can hold a summit there.

    Dubai-based space Diplomat Namira Salim, the founder og non-profit organisation Space Trust.
    Dubai-based space Diplomat Namira Salim, the founder og non-profit organisation Space Trust.
    Khaleej Times

    “Space can be a sustainable tool for peace making on Earth. The rationale is space is opening to all sectors, so why not open it to politicians and world leaders to create a paradigm shift in their minds because that is from where they can see a world beyond political boundaries.

    "This has always inspired astronauts over the ages, so that whoever goes to space comes back thinking about peace on Earth and how we shouldn’t have wars and we all should be united. With the commercialisation of space, the first step is to engage world leaders and make them participate in this initiative and make space a place of peace through this mission called the (ZeroGravity) 0G Peace Mission 2030 (0G2030)," she told Khaleej Times, a UAE publication.

    She further noted that for now, they are working on getting peace messages from world leaders to orbit and broadcast them around the would.

    UoN is working alongside with the University of Arizona in the programme. The US-based institution shall develop the antenna to broadcast the peace messages and provide ground system support for its operation.

    "It's a student-led initiative and there will be two payloads. The main payload will be peace messages and then there’ll be two more payloads from each university, which will be student payloads.

    "Everything is done through a curriculum development programme based on STEM education and capacity building. I would also invite universities in the UAE to come forward and learn from our experiences and our online workshops," added Salim.

    Kenya Space Agency Research at the University of Nairobi chair Professor Mwangi Mbuthia noted that UoN students are set to gain experience in the space mission development.

    “Our students will gain experience in design of mobile applications that help incorporate, integrate and disseminate satellite data such as peace messages and develop and transform it into a three-unit CubeSat," he revealed.

    An image of University of Nairobi
    University of Nairobi main campus.