As Uganda continues to look into exploring space technology, a facility that will serve as an operations and communications centre for the launch of its satellites has been announced.
In March, the Government of Uganda approved plans to build a satellite station with the main objective of developing the country’s space capabilities in a well-coordinated and harmonized manner.
“The station, located at the Mpoma facility where Uganda already has two antennas, will serve as the operations and communications center for satellites launched by the government and universities.”said Uganda’s Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Elioda Tumwesigye.
The mentioned Earth Satellite Station located at Mpoma in Kyaggwe, Mukono District was set up by former President Idi Amin Dada together with the one at Ombaci in the West Nile region. It’s also reported that one of Amin’s widows, Madina Amin claimed that the Mpoma Earth Satellite Station was Amin’s gift to the Buganda tribe, generally, and the people of Mukono in particular for accepting him as a son-in-law.
Now, this pre-existing earth satellite station will serve as the operations and communications centre for satellites launched by the government and universities. The station already holds two antennas associated with Intelsat’s Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean satellites.
The minister told EOS news that this station was chosen because it already had some infrastructure that the country has been using for international telecommunication satellites. This was agreed on by officials to minimize the cost of developing a new satellite station.
To date, Uganda has invested a variety of resources to develop this required space technology. The country has committed $2 million for technology, research, and development and another $200,000 to improve infrastructure at Mpoma.
“The satellite will be launched from Japan, but it will be for Uganda,”he added.
Despite the satellites being monitored from Mpoma, the minister explained that the station will receive capacity-building funding support from Russia and will be launched from Japan.
What do you think about Uganda’s newfound love for space technology and how it will progress? Let us know in the comments.