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Young Scientists Breakthrough: Africa's First Ever Private Satellite Is Designed By Teenage Girls

First Posted: Nov 29, 2016 03:30 AM EST
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Africa's first ever private satellite will be launched into space in May 2017 and what is more remarkable is that it is designed by teenage girls. (Image for representation only.)
(Photo : NASA/Handout/Getty Images)

A group of teenage girls has conceptualized the first ever private satellite of Africa. It is going to be launched into space in May 2017.

The private satellite has been designed by 14 South African teenage girls. The project is part of a high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) boot camp. The satellite aims to orbit Africa and collect agricultural information. It will gather thermal imaging data and indicate where drought and floods are expected.

Britanny Bull, one of the teen designers, said that they would try to determine and predict the problems of Africa that it will be facing in the future. "Where our food is growing, where we can plant more trees and vegetation and how we can monitor remote areas." She added they have a lot of forest fires and floods but they do not always get out there in time.

The group of teenage girls has been trained by satellite engineers from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. This is to encourage more African women to join and be a part of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Their discovery was bought by South Africa's Meta Economic Development Organization (MEDO), according to CNN.

An enthusiastic 16-year-old Sesam Mngqengqiswa from Philippi High School said that they expect to receive a good signal that will allow them to receive reliable data. She further said that in Africa they have experienced some of the worst floods and droughts and these have really affected the farmers very badly.

The girls have much bigger plans too as making it into space. This is something no black African has ever done before, according to Science Alert.

Mngqengqiswa said that discovering space and seeing Earth's atmosphere is not something many black Africans have been able to do or do not get the opportunity to look at. She further said that she wants to show to fellow girls that they do not need to sit around or limit themselves. She concluded that any career is possible -- even aerospace.

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