Historical Background of CBSS.
Basic Space Science in Nigeria started with the effort to set up Astronomy Observatory in Nigeria, dating back to 1962. Prof. Gaustard and Prof. Hans Haubolt introduced the teaching of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Nigeria.
Prof. S.E. Okoye, the first Nigerian Astronomer took over this vision and established a Space Research Centre Project (1978-89) in Nsukka, Nigeria, carrying out Postgraduate Research in Astronomy and Cosmology.
The idea to establish the Centre for Basic Space Science (CBSS) in Nigeria was catalysed by the United Nations Workshops in Basic Space Science in 1991. This was followed by paper presentation titled “Basic Space Science and Technology in Nigeria (preparations for a take-off)” by Professor P.N. Okeke FAS, in a public lecture organized by the Nigerian Academy of Science, Lagos, in 1999.
Pius N. Okeke, an emeritus Professor of Astro-physics, expanded the scope of the CBSS to include in addition to Radio Astronomy; other areas of Basic Space Science such as: Atmospheric Sciences, Solar Physics, Optical Astronomy and Solar Terrestrial Interaction studies.
Establishment of CBSS
The Center for Basic Space Science (CBSS) was established in 2001 as one of the activity Centres of NASRDA. It was formerly situated at the bookshop building of University of Nigeria Nsukka and has presently moved to her permanent site at TTC road Ebirimmiri Nsukka Enugu State.
It is worthy of mention that the NASRDA-Center for Atmospheric Research (CAR) Ayingba was formally created as an out-station of CBSS. Over the years of her operation, the Center for Basic Space Science has witnessed different developmental strides, guided by dynamic leadership structure and dedicated directors at the helm of affairs. The center has gone through three transitional directorial positions held by devoted and capable hands both in academia and space industry.
Mandate of CBSS
The development of skills and knowledge of researchers through training and retraining of personnel. Enhancement of international collaboration with other Centres with similar interests, in well-defined projects, in such a way that Nigerian Scientists and Engineers must ab-initio be involved in the development process.
Promotion of the introduction of Astronomy into the curricular at all levels of our educational systems. Design, fabrication and patent space technology instruments and products, and appropriate hardware and software. Promotion of outreach and awareness programs capable of exciting young minds and disseminating to the general public the tremendous benefits derivable from Space Science and Technology. Encouragement of relevant activities in other Centres to provide the much-needed physics education required for a thorough understanding of studies and problems in other areas of space science applications. To serve the distinct advisory and policy-making – roles to governmental and non-governmental agencies.
NASRDA-Center for Basic Space Science is envisioned to play strategic role in thedevelopment of Space Science and Technology as a driving force and engine of economic growth and as a major ingredient for human resources and infrastructural development.
The mission of NASRDA-Center for Basic Space Science is to carry out studies, research and development in Basic Space Science, nationally (Nigerian Universities and Research Institutes) and internationally (other world Space Agencies) for the benefit of Nigeria, Africa and the entire World.
Science Divisions at CBSS and Activities
- Astronomy Division
- Planetary Division
- Information and Technology Division
- Instrumentation Division