Ethiopia is gearing up to join the league of countries that own observatory satellites in space come 2019. There are just a few African countries to have achieved this feat and Ethiopia is planning to become a part by next year. The announcement was made by the Director General of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, Dr. Solomon B. Tessema.
He made the announcement at the Addis Ababa University and said though the satellite will be designed in China the observation station will be based in Ethiopia.
In his report he announced that the total cost of the project was $8 million which covered design and development as well as manufacture of the observatory satellite which was done in partnership with China. He went further to describe Ethiopia’s major aim for the project, which was to improve the capacity of Ethiopian engineers via collaboration with other countries’ scientists. This will in turn enable Ethiopia develop their second satellite independently as necessary knowledge will have been acquired.
In total there are about 20 indigenous aerospace engineers and 60 Doctorate and Masters Students working as part of the research which has its base at the Entoto Observatory and Research Center. The research facility is the only of its kind in the country and it is equipped with a spectrograph and a pair of 0ne-meter telescopes among others.
The country is already collaborating with other countries like Russia, United States, South Korea, United Kingdom, South Africa, France, and Chile. Ethiopia will be joining African countries, totaling 7 that have satellites in space. These countries include Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Algeria and Kenya.