Nigeria Seeks Help from SSTL for Failed NASRDA Satellite Imagery Project

[Satellite TODAY 03-29-12] Nigeria has purchased Earth imagery resources from British observation satellites after discovering that its own recently launched, $64 million satellite project failed to provide relevant images in orbit, the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) confirmed March 28.

   The satellite project was supposed to track likely operational bases of terrorist cells in northern Nigeria. The maps from the satellites were meant to help counter-terrorism agencies identify possible bases used by terrorist groups to plan and launch attacks.
   NASRDA personnel confirmed the failure of its satellites on Tuesday after realizing that satellites’ ground control station in Abuja, Nigeria was not equipped with the appropriate laboratory equipment to process the downloaded images. The provision for the laboratory was outlined in the original satellite procurement contract that the Nigerian government signed with Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd. (SSTL).
   NASRDA Director General Seidu Mohammed said that the agency resorted to buying the same imagery from SSTL.
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