SGAC Jamaica

National Points of Contact Jamaica

Welcome to the SGAC Jamaica page. As a nation, Jamaica is very young in its involvement with the space sector and in 2014 saw this tiny island’s space initiative grow exponentially. Jamaica’s involvement in the SGAC officially commenced in the 2008 with the appointment of its very first National Point of Contact, Marc Cornwall, whose continuous hard work and determination earned him an opportunity to attend the 2011 Space Generation Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2014, Cornwall passed the torch onto two new NPoCs, John Shorter and Yitzhak Henry. These two individuals are working to build upon Cornwall’s solid foundation and expand Jamaica’s involvement in space and space related research and activities to never before seen heights

Young Space Activities Overview in Jamaica

The absence of a space programme in Jamaica has left space related activities to be centred mostly on astronomy and the actions of the Astronomical Association of Jamaica (AAJ). The year 2014 commenced with a Star Party organized by the Campion College Astronomy Club, held on Sunday February 16. A successful event, the sky was clear enough to view the moons of Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and other clusters and nebulae, until moonrise at about 8:00 p.m. The island’s sixth ever Yuri’s Night was held on Saturday April 12, 2014 and was an overall success. The venue was Up Park Camp, the grounds of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), and attracted many members of the defense force and visitors from the general populous. The following year started off on a high note. On January 15, 2015 the SGAC officially partnered with Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr. and MonaGIS in an effort to expand the space sector in Jamaica. MonaGIS serves as the geographic information system (GIS) hub for the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. In addition to serving the campus by delivering GIS courses for various departments and participating in campus research activitie, MonaGIS provides GIS services to the public and private sectors. MonaGIS can provide analyses, recommend detailed solutions, and design crucial components for any organizations GIS needs. MonaGIS is the only organization in Jamaica that can provide advanced geographic information science solutions. They are currently in the process of procuring satellite imagery for Jamaica. The year 2015 will also see the reintroduction of the Cosmology Program at the University of The West Indies. The AAJ has been driving behind this and the incredible and talented Professor Alfred Chang has been selected to teach the upcoming course. This initiative was aimed at the ever growing concern for the lack of space theory in the Jamaican school systems. The AAJ has put together a comprehensive introductory presentation on the universe with a special emphasis on the solar system appropriate for presentations in primary and preparatory schools currently getting ready for their Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

 Astronomical Association of Jamaica star party

Country-Specific Events in 2015

For the month of April the AAJ will be observing Global Astronomy Month. Between the 16th and the 19th of April they will also be celebrating Yuri’s Night. Between the 23rd and 26th of April the AAJ will be observing the Lyrid Meteor Shower.

Interesting Web Links for the Space Generation in Jamaica

Associations and institutes Astronomical Association of Jamaica Caribbean Institute of Astronomy MonaGIS Educational institutions with space focused courses University of the West Indies Department of Physics UWI Mona General interest Spacetime journey with Jamaican Historian, Dr. Joy Lumsden