Ethiopia has launched its first satellite this past Friday December 20, 2019. This is an outstanding feat and we are happy to celebrate with Ethiopian scientists and all Ethiopians. Funny how all western media titled “First Ethiopian satellite launched with the help of China,” as if it was wrong to do collaborations… aren’t most of the scientists at the International Space Station from all over the world and mainly Europe and the United States? Well we celebrate Ethiopia’s achievement. Below are excerpts from the article found on PhysOrg .
Ethiopia’s first satellite was sent into space on Friday, a landmark achievement for the ambitious country that also caps a banner year for Africa’s involvement in space.
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.
The 70-kilogramme (154-pound) satellite was developed by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology with the help of 21 Ethiopian scientists, according to the specialist website africanews.space .
It [the satellite] 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 told AFP.
The launch makes Ethiopia the eleventh African country to have a satellite into space. Egypt was the first in 1998.
All told, 41 African satellites have now been launched—38 from individual countries and three more that were multilateral efforts, Oniosun said.
None of those launches has taken place from African soil.
China covered most of the satellite’s $8 million (7.2-million-euro) cost, according to an official involved in Ethiopia’s space programme who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to disclose details of the project.