Kenya to launch its first satellite into orbit next Apr 10

By : Samira Njoya

Date : jeudi, 06 avril 2023 13:14

East African economic powerhouse Kenya is facing its worst drought in decades. With Taifa-1, the country will be able to predict drought-related disasters and speed up the response of emergency programs.

The Kenya Space Agency (KSA) will launch its first operational Earth observation satellite, called Taifa-1, next week, the government announced Monday, April 3.

According to a joint statement from the Ministry of Defense and the Kenya Space Agency, "Taifa-1," or Nation-1 in Swahili, is scheduled to launch on April 10 aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Base in California.

According to Hillary Kipkosgey (photo), KSA's director general, "The launch of Taifa-1 is a moment of national pride, because it will play a critical role in decision support in several socioeconomic activities, including environmental monitoring, natural resources management, and agriculture."

Taifa-1 was jointly developed by the University of Nairobi and the Sapienza University of Rome, with launch support provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

For Hillary Kipkosgey, the satellite will help build the country’s capacities in space, systems engineering, space operations, data processing and analysis, services, and ground station operations.

With the launch of Taifa-1, Kenya joins a very closed circle of African countries that have at least one satellite in the orbit. The first African country to launch its satellite into orbit was Egypt. It was followed by a dozen countries and the continent now has more than 40 satellites in total, according to the platform Space In Africa.

Samira Njoya


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