Mongolia will be launching a satellite into space in spring 2017, with help from UNESCO and the Japanese government, the Mongolian Press Institute reported on October 4.
The Joint Global Multi Nation BIRDS (JGMNB) project is a cross-border interdisciplinary spectral and infrared remote detection (BIRD) satellite project for non-space faring countries supported by Japan. Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria, and Bangladesh are some of the seven countries participating in the JGMNB project.
Fifteen students from the Graduate School of Engineering at the Kyushu Institute of Technology and those enrolled in master or doctoral degree programs in an international space engineering course are executing the project with support from four faculty members. The project’s organizers believe the JGMNB project provides great leverage for students from developing nations with hands-on experience. The participating students represent six of the seven JGMNB nations.
The project requires funding of 225,000 USD. Mongolian National University is funded 50,000 USD and the remaining funding is being provided by the government.
The satellite will be used by researchers to monitor desertification and to collect data on plant yield and soil moisture. It will also be used to report real-time to herders and farmers. After the launch of the first satellite in 2017, Mongolian scientists are planning to launch a second satellite by 2020.