Ethiopia is set to launch the world’s first observatory satelite in 2019. The satelite would cost around US$8 million to design and build, while China will take US$6 of the cost. The satelite will have its control centre back in Ethopia and it will be launched from China.
According to the senior scientist of the Ethopia Space Science and Technology Institute in Addis Ababa, the space satelite has two main objectives; to build the technology application capacity and skills of engineers in Ethopia through collaborations with different countries’ space scientists and institutions, so that they will be in a position to design, build and launch the second satelite indecently. While the second objective is to direct support the first satelite gives to social and economic development in terms of saving money Ethopia is currently spending on purchasing data, such as climate data.
In his words:
“Most of the preliminary and critical design is done by our scientists”. Mr Tesema also added the use of home-based engineers was to enable local engineers and PHD level students to be part of science and technology and knowledge transfer. Meanwhile, China will conduct training and facilitate all aspects of the satelite’s launch in 2019.