Prepare to have your teen years put to shame. Seventeen-year-old Brittany Bull and 16-year-old Sesam Mngqengqiswa are part of a team of high school girls from Cape Town, South Africa, who designed and built payloads for what will be Africa’s first private satellite. Their work is part of a project by South Africa’s Meta Economic Development Organization (MEDO) in collaboration with Morehead State University.
Scheduled to launch in May 2017, it will make MEDO Africa’s first private company to build a satellite and get it into orbit. It will be a major advance for African space exploration: So far, no black African has journeyed to outer space. The satellite will scan Africa’s surface, aiming to collect data for agricultural advancements and prevent disasters in remote areas. (“We have a lot of forest fires and floods but we don’t always get out there in time,” Bull declared.)
The program could potentially benefit the entire continent, but has particular promise for African girls. After all, it shows them they can work in the fields of technology and science. As Bull observes, “Any career is possible—even aerospace.” To read more about the satellite, click here or watch the video below.
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