Arrangements are in top gear to launch the Federal University of Technology, Akure into the Space through a collaboration between the University’s Centre for Space Research and Applications (CESRA) and the Kyushu Institute of Technology, (Kyutech), Japan.
To give effect to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Kyutech and FUTA in May 2015, a one-man team from Kyutech was in FUTA to discuss the modalities of launching the Satellite in 2017. Assistant Professor at Kyutech, George Maeda, while paying a courtesy call on the management of the University said he had long looked forward to collaborating with CESRA having met CESRA Director Professor Joseph Akinyede when the MoU was signed between FUTA and Kyutech.
FUTA, Japanese Institute To Launch Satellite
Speaking on behalf of his boss, Mengu Cho, George said the project tagged “Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds” (JGMNB) represents the initial alphabets of five participating countries (Japan, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria and Bangladesh). According to him, JGMNB is a proposal for a satellite programme for non-space facing countries with the aim of laying down foundation of sustainable space programme by accumulating human resource in Universities and launching a University Space Research and Education Programme.
George also said the project intends to successfully build and operate the first University Satellite of nation, make the first step towards indigenous space programme at each country with minimum budget at Universities in emerging or developing countries.
To actualize this each country will send three students to Kyutech for training and there will be five teams, with each having three students. Each team will after their training at Kyutech build the Satellite for their country. “By 2017, FUTA will be the first University in Nigeria to have built and launched a Satellite. This is the first time a Satellite will be built from the scratch and launched by Nigerian”. George said.
George commended the University Management for the warm reception accorded him. According to him, FUTA is a superb University with great men, including students. He said his interaction with a broad spectrum of staff and students confirms that FUTA will soon compete with other world class institutions.
Receiving George on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academics), Professor Tunde Arayela said FUTA is a young and growing Institution with a lot of collaborations with world class Universities. He commended the novel idea of launching a Satellite from the scratch with local manpower.
Daramola said “we are proud as a growing institution to set the pace in pioneering the launch of Satellite in the country by Universities. We know it will be beneficial to all of us. We hope to have a sustainable and beneficial relationship with Kyutech, particularly the one that will launch our University into the Space.”
Earlier in an address, Director, Centre for Space Research and Applications, (CESRA), Professor Akinyede said that the aim of the collaboration between FUTA and Kyutech was to develop capacity whereby staff and students will be familiar with Satellite technology.