2019/12/22

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Ethiopia launches first satellite into space backed by China

  

Ethiopia's first satellite was sent into space on Friday to help the nation gather agricultural data in a project that has been financially supported by China throughout. 


A Chinese Long March 4B rocket hoisted the first Ethiopian Remote Sensing Satellite (ETRSS-1) aloft from the Taiyuan space base in northern China. 


Scores of Ethiopian and Chinese officials and scientists gathered at the Entoto Observatory and Research Centre outside the capital, Addis Ababa, early Friday to watch a live broadcast.


China has covered most of the satellite's 6.1 million cost, according to an official involved in Ethiopia's space programme who spoke on condition of anonymity 


The 154-pound satellite was developed by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology with the help of 21 Ethiopian scientists.


It will send back data of the environment and weather patterns in the Horn of Africa -- a boon for a country dependent on agriculture and forestry and vulnerable to flood, drought and other climate perils.


'This will be a foundation for our historic journey to prosperity,' Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen said in a speech.


It is the eighth launch of an African satellite this year, topping the previous record of seven in 2017, according to Temidayo Oniosun, managing director of Space in Africa, a Nigeria-based firm that tracks African space programmes.


'We can say that 2019 is pretty much the best year in the history of the African space industry,' Oniosun said.


The launch makes Ethiopia the eleventh African country to have a satellite into space. Egypt was the first in 1998.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk


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