Ethiopia to launch first satellite

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Ethiopia has announced that the country will launch its first satellite in September next year. To be launched from China, the satellite will have its command and control operations based in Ethiopia.

The $8 million earth observatory satellite project, with the involvement of 20 Ethiopian Engineers, has got $6 million support and training from China.

“Our main goals for launching this first satellite are two. The first is to build technology application capacity and skills of our engineers through collaborations with different countries’ space scientists and institutions,” said Dr Solomon Belay Tessema, the director general of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute at the Addis Ababa University.

The government took the decision to establish the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) in October 2016.

In 2004, three aspiring astronomers had gathered a group of 47 space enthusiasts to form the Ethiopian Space Science Society, which since recruited over 10,000 members and established East Africa’s only space observatory facility on the 3,200-metre hills of Entoto.

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