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Girls to design Africa’s first private space satellite

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Africa will launch its first private satellite into space

It’s been built by schoolgirls

(CNN) —  

They may be teenagers, but 17-year-old Brittany Bull and 16-year-old Sesam Mngqengqiswa have grand ambitions – to launch Africa’s first private satellite into space in 2019.

They are part of a team of high school girls from Cape Town, South Africa, who have designed and built payloads for a satellite that will orbit over the earth’s poles scanning Africa’s surface.

Once in space, the satellite will collect information on agriculture and food security within the continent.

Using the data transmitted, “we can try to determine and predict the problems Africa will be facing in the future”, explains Bull, a student at Pelican Park High School.

South Africa's program aims to encourage girls into STEM, particularly astronomy. Less than 10% of young women are interested in STEM subjects.

Coursey Karl Schoemaker

South Africa’s program aims to encourage girls into STEM, particularly astronomy. Less than 10% of young women are interested in STEM subjects.

“Where our food is growing, where we can plant more trees and vegetation, and also how we can monitor remote areas,” she says. “We have a lot of forest fires and floods, but we don’t always get out there in time.”

Information received twice a day will go towards disaster prevention.

It’s part of South Africa’s Meta Economic Development Organization (MEDO) project working with Morehead State University in the US.

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