Space programs springing up across Africa

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Space program

Ethiopia is one step closer to creating its very own national space agency. The privately funded 3 million dollar Entoto observatory was built by the Ethiopian Space Science Society. It’s aimed at training up local astronomers, scientists, and engineers. Ethiopia’s Institute of Technology also plans to test the first Ethiopian rocket, with a goal of putting a satellite in orbit around Earth within the next five years.

Nigeria founded its National Space Research and Development Agency in 1999 and launched its first satellite in 2003. Then with the help of the Chinese it launched another in 2011- NigComSat-1R has a 15-year lifespan and provides cost-effective wireless internet coverage for Nigerians.

Ghana isn’t far behind Nigeria in Africa’s space race. Ghana launched its Space Science and Technology Centre- the government also pledged to help finance the country’s fledgling space science industry. Today, students at the All Nations University College are installing meteorological instruments- their readings will feed back to NASA’s global climate database in the United States.

It’s hoped Ghana’s satellites will help transform agriculture practices and help quash illegal mining- and that promoting space education could help encourage a new generation of engineers and astronauts.

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