Kenya’s first satellite Taifa-1 launches To Space After Three Attempts

Taifa-1, Kenya’s first EO 3U nanosatellite, was successfully launched on Saturday, April 15, by SpaceX. 

Falcon 9’s launch of the Transporter-7 mission to low-Earth orbit was conducted at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. 


Space X had attempted to launch the satellite three times but failed due to bad weather.

The launch was initially to happen on Tuesday, April 11 but was postponed to Wednesday, April 12, and the two days thereafter.

Unlike the previous days, directors streaming live from SpaceX confirmed that the weather was good and the rockets had been assessed for launch. 

The Transporter 7 mission is a dedicated rideshare flight to a sun-synchronous orbit with dozens of small microsatellites and nanosatellites. It was deployed aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, lifting other small satellites from nations worldwide. 

The Elon Musk-owned Space X runs Transporter 7 mission dedicated to rideshare flight to a sun-synchronous orbit. 

A sun-synchronous orbit is dozens of small microsatellites and nanosatellites, which countries like Kenya use to collect useful data. 

Taifa-1, in particular, will be vital in data collection that will help in decision-making, especially in the agricultural, security and telecommunication sectors. 

“It is equipped with an optical camera that takes pictures simultaneously in multispectral and panchromatic modes enabling it to operate within and beyond the visible light spectrum,” Kenya Space Agency stated. 


The satellite is the first of what is intended to be a constellation of small earth observation satellites, with subsequent systems expected to be of higher capability. 

It is an observation satellite with subsequent systems that will provide real-time observation over Kenyan territory. 

“The Taifa-1 Mission has been implemented in four main architectural parts: the mission subject, space segment, ground segment, launch segment and mission operations component,” Kenya Space Agency revealed. 

Taifa-1’s optical camera is capable of imaging in five multispectral bands with a ground sampling distance (GSD) of 32 metres and the panchromatic band with a GSD of 16 metres. 

According to Kenya Space Agency, the two types of images work together to provide higher quality images known as pan-sharpened images which is a combination of the two.

The agency also noted that Taifa-1 satellite comprises of subsystems which meant to get the payload to function optimally to achieve the mission objectives. 

“These include the electrical power, communication, structures and mechanisms, on-board computing, attitude determination and control and thermal control subsystems.

“The payload and the satellite bus both have on-board mass storage systems that enable images to be stored on-board temporarily before the satellite can access the ground station and download them,” Kenya Space Agency stated. 

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