• Commence countdown

    Commence countdown

    Ethiopia is preparing to launch its first satellite in September 2019.

    According to Solomon Belay Tessema, senior scientist and director-general of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute at Addis Ababa University, ‘the satellite will be launched from China while the control and command station will be in Ethiopia’, as reported by the East African. The Earth observation satellite will gather data related to water, agriculture, climate change and environmental protection.

    The project has so far involved scientists from the institute as well as 20 Ethiopian engineers and around 60 PhD and Master’s students.

    The two main goals of launching the satellite are ‘to build technology application capacity and skills of our engineers through collaborations with different countries’ space scientists and institutions’, says Solomon, while the second is the ‘direct support the first satellite gives to the social and economic development in terms of saving the money the country is currently spending for buying data, such as climate data’.

    Total spend on the satellite is estimated at US$8 million, of which China has provided US$6 million in financial support, in addition to training.

    20 November 2018
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images