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By NBF News
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The replaced Nigerian Satellite, NigComSat-1R, has undergone and passed a major performance test, the Managing Director of NigComSat, Prof. Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, has said.

Ahmed-Rufai said in Abuja yesterday that activities were now in top gear for its launch in 2011.  He said that the satellite, which will be operated and controlled by Nigerian engineers, had undergone vibration tests, while a simulation of the outer space had been used to test its ability to survive the harshness of the outer space.

The project has now entered an advanced stage of Assembly and Integration Test (AIT) of the platform and payload components.

'This indicates that the project is very much on course for the delivery date of last quarter of 2011. 'However, the minister of finance who also went on the visit to China, insistently requested that the satellite be launched in the early part of the third quarter of 2011,'' he said.

Ahmed-Rufai said that his group also went to engage the company to provide a backup in the form of NigComSat 2 and 3 in earnest in order to forestall the mistakes of the past. Rising from the sixth Quarterly Management Review (QMR) meeting in Abuja at the weekend,  officials of NigComSat, and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) disclosed that NigComSat-1R will be delivered on schedule. He hinted that about four other countries were to launch their satellites ahead of Nigeria's NigComSat-1R.

Ahmed-Rufai gave the assurance that with the launch of NigComSat-1R, Nigerians would be able to enjoy affordable broadband and multimedia services.

Minister of Science and Technology Prof. Abubakar Mohammed had earlier announced that the satellite would be launched at the last quarter of 2011. (NAN)