The Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) was first established as a Centre under the School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS) in January 2011 and launched in May 2012. It was later upgraded to an Institute in August 2013, to exploit space science and technology for socio-economic development of the country.
The Institute is a state institution mandated to coordinate all space science and technology related programmes and activities in Ghana. GSSTI is re-packaging the existing national capacities, competences, experiences and expertise in space science and related fields to find possible space technology solutions to the problems of Ghana. It has a unique research group and technical persons working assiduously to exploit space science and technology for socio-economic development in Ghana.
Exploring the frontiers of science through particle physics, lies a world of vast unknowns yet conceives great and wonderful secrets of man’s existence and the value for life – Earth and the Space World. Apparently, the birth of the Ghana Space and Technology Institute (GSSTI) in 2011indicates that not only nuclear science is pursued at the premises of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. By its establishment, a unilateral concept of particle physics that binds Space Science and Nuclear Science is demonstrated.
Located on theCampus of the School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS), the GSSTI aims at spearheading, coordinating, undertaking and managing the country’s space science projects and research activities. Currently, the GSSTI runs an outreach and space education programme which is aimed at introducing a space science curriculum in the basic schools to the tertiary level in Ghana by the year 2020.
Major ongoing projects in the short and medium term at the GSSTI include:
The establishment, operation and hosting of a space observatory known as the Ghana Astronomical Project (GAP) on the African VLBI.
Hosting of the GAP on the Square Kilometer Array – SKA Project; South Africa
Establishment of a planetarium and Space Science Museum The Ghana Astronomical Project (GAP)
The Ghana Astronomical Project is a bi-phase task, namely GAP-I and GAP-II. GAP-I aims at converting a thirty-two (32) meter abandoned communication satellite at Kuntunse into a radio astronomical telescope/antenna to be linked to the African VLBI network. The GAP-I commenced in March 2011 when a team of
Ghanaian, South African and British experts and partners conducted feasibility studies to replace wornout parts. These were radio astronomers and engineers from the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, South African National Space Agency, South African Hartebeethoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, United Kingdom’s Goonhilly Earth Station and The Oxford University, UK. The GAP-I is expected to be completed and made fully operational by 2015. In the long term, GAP-II will bring on board thirty (30) additional antennas as part of the Square Kilometer Array Project which upon completion will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. Through an effective collaboration with the aforementioned partners, the GAP seeks to build a seventy percent (70%) in-house human capacity to ensure its sustainability and maintenance and expected to create a substantial amount of jobs for the development of the country. It is expected that upon completion of the GAP, Ghana by virtue of its strategic location on the equator will serve as a focus of international observatories where the entire Milky Way galaxy would be studied and registered on the world space map.