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Zimbabwe Intends to Put Its Second Spacecraft in Orbit in November

CC BY 2.0 / NASA / Canadarm2 Over South Africa (NASA, International Space Station, 08/15/14)
Canadarm2 Over South Africa (NASA, International Space Station, 08/15/14) - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 18.06.2024
ZimSat-1, Zimbabwe’s first Earth observation satellite, was launched in November 2022 and deployed in December of the same year. It aids in monitoring drought conditions, mine mapping, and capturing soil analysis images. Data is transmitted to the Mazowe Satellite Station, a ground-based facility located in Mazowe, Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe plans to launch its second satellite, ZimSat-2, in November, aiming to enhance the country’s data transmission and space technology capabilities, the local news agency the Sunday Mail reported, citing Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science, and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira.
The minister highlighted in an interview with the outlet that the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA) is putting the final touches on technical preparations.

"Everything was on course. We are now waiting for the appropriate window for the perfect space weather to launch; that is, in November. We are working on more space projects that will be unveiled in due course," he was quoted as saying by the media.

Originally scheduled for May 26, the launch faced delays due to technical issues. Pre-launch tests for the upcoming ZimSat-2 takeoff have reportedly been completed.
ZINGSA coordinator Painos Gweme clarified that the delay was caused by the primary payload not being ready, which led to postponing the launch to November after missing the initial June-August window, according to the report.

“We were supposed to launch the second satellite on May 26 this year; however, our primary payload was not ready. The launches are done in seasons, and this means we have also missed the June–JulyAugust window, so we will now wait for the November window. So, the launch will now be done in November," he said.

ZimSat-2 is equipped with advanced sensors and imaging devices, designed to support a range of applications, including mineral exploration, environmental hazard monitoring, and managing droughts and human settlements.
Building on the capabilities of ZimSat-1, Zimbabwe plans to introduce three additional earth observation satellites in the upcoming years. The government views these space initiatives as crucial to the nation’s modernization and industrialization efforts.