Kazakhstan girls’ satellites soar to stars

CUTTING-edge nanosatellites, designed and built by dynamic young women and girls from across Kazakhstan, lifted-off to explore the cosmos this week.

The satellites will take high-resolution images of earth and the stars. Sensors will gather data on radiation, pressure, gravity, light and gas composition. Reams of data will be beamed back to earth for analysis.

“I’m a dreamer. If I want to achieve a goal, I’ll do my best to make it,” said Amina Sadu, 17, a participant in the groundbreaking ‘UniSat’ learning initiative which led to the launch.

Twenty girls and women aged 14 – 35 were taught to design, engineer, programme, build and launch small satellites by leading aerospace experts through a landmark partnership between UNICEF and the Science and Technology Park of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.

Launched by UNICEF and the Science and Technology Park of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, the UniSat project is a free five-month course that teaches young women how to engineer, design, programme, assemble, test and launch nanosatellites or small spacecraft weighing no more than 10 kg.

“Women and girls can drive the frontier jobs, discoveries and technologies of tomorrow. The UniSat initiative propels dynamic young women and girls to the forefront of the future of work and crucial economic sectors.”