Uganda plans to print 3D human tissue in space

Uganda has gone to space. Despite a fire alarm causing delays on Nov. 6, the country’s first satellite, PearlAfricaSat-1, finally launched successfully into space on the morning of Nov. 7 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops space flight facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, US.

Uganda will be using its new satellite to get more accurate data on weather forecasting, mineral mapping, agri-monitoring, and border security. But on top of this list will be the conducting of healthtech life saving experiments. The Nile Post reports that Uganda will use the microgravity (weightlessness) provided by the satellite to perform advanced 3D biological printing of human tissue in space, including an “investigation into how microgravity influences ovary function.”

The satellite which has already landed on the International Space Station (ISS) will be monitored from the Mpoma ground satellite station in the capital Kampala.

The project, under a Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite program (BIRDS) with Japan and Zimbawe, was spearheaded by three Ugandan engineers—Edgar Mujuni, Bonny Omara, and Derrick Tebusweke. They were trained in Japan at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in designing, building, testing, and launching satellites.


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