Kenya Space Agency (KSA) has today been awarded to host an optical telescope as part of the international ISONscope network. This award is sponsored by the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Science.

In his remarks, Ag. DG Col. Hillary Kipkosgey thanked the sponsors for their consideration and effort to build capacities for astronomy and space data analysis in upcoming space nations such as Kenya. Earlier this year, KSA in collaboration with other stakeholders applied for the opportunity to host the ISONscope telescope under the project name ‘Kenyan Space Observation and Research telescope' (K-SORT) whose objectives include participating in observation campaigns of the International Scientific Optical Network to observe and monitor space debris and near-earth objects, monitoring, studying and conducting research on celestial bodies e.g. planets among others.

Col. Kipkosgey also said that this project will enhance the study of space science and astronomy at the agency and in KSA’s partnering Universities and institutions of higher learning in the country for space situational awareness collection and determination of near-earth object orbits.

The K-SORT telescope will be located at Olorgesailie site in Kajiado County which will be the first optical observatory in Kenya.