By Richard Adorsu-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Accra GHANA- Kenya Space Agency (KSA) has announced that the country will launch its first operational satellite in a landmark achievement for the country’s space program.
Codenamed Taifa-1, or Nation-1 in Swahili, the project is scheduled to be launched on April 11, 2023, with the assistance of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The event will take place at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The satellite will provide data for agriculture with food security, natural resources management, environmental monitoring and extra.
KSA Acting Director Brig Hillary Kipkosgey hailed the mission saying that it plays a pivotal role in articulating Kenya’s contribution to the growth of satellite development.
“Space is the next frontier in many ways and we are happy to be part of this. This is our moment of pride” KSA’s acting director Bring Hillary Kipkoskey said.
The observation satellite is “fully designed and developed” by Kenyan engineers.
Kenya is dealing with its worst drought in decades after several failed rainy seasons. The Ministry also said that testing and manufacturing of the parts were done in collaboration with a Bulgarian aerospace manufacturer.
The satellite launch will add to a push by African nations for scientific innovation and the development of space programs. Egypt was the first African country to send a satellite into space in 1998.
In 2018, Kenya launched its first experimental nano-satellite from the International Space Station. As of 2022, at least 13 African countries had manufactured 48 satellites, according to Space in Africa, a Nigeria-based firm that tracks African space programs.
For New Africa Business News Richard Adorsu Reports, Africa Correspondent