On Monday, the government revealed that Kenya will launch its first operational satellite next week in a land mark achievement for he country’s space programme.
Taifa-1, or Nation-1, is set to be launched on April 10 aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
“The mission is important milestone “the defense ministry and Kenya Space Agency revealed in joint statement, adding that it would contribute significantly to country’s ‘budding space economy.’
The satellite is fully designed and developed by Kenyan engineers and will be used to provide data on agriculture and food security, among other areas, the statement read.
Testing and manufacturing of the parts were done in collaboration with a Bulgarian aerospace manufacturer, it added.
The launch will add to a push by African countries for scientific innovation and the development of space programmes.
In 1998, Egypt was the first African country to send a satellite into space.
In 2018, Kenya launched its first experimental nanosatellite from the international Space Station.
According to space Africa, at least 13 African countries have manufactured 48 satellites a Nigeria based firm that tracks African space programmers revealed.
The also revealed that more than 50 satellites have been launched as of November 2020, however none were from African soil.