EtRSS1, Ethiopia’s first satellite, will be launched next week on Friday morning December 20 around 6 o’clock from China space station – some 500 kilometers from the capital Beijing.
The remote sensing satellite of Ethiopia, manufactured in collaboration with the Chinese government and Ethiopian engineers in China is fitted with a high resolution camera. A team of Ethiopian government officials and journalists will be heading to China to witness the launching next week.
Twenty Ethiopian engineers are trained in China on how to process the data collected by the satellite, according to the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopia.
It will gather information on weather forecasting, which benefits Ethiopia’s agriculture and mining industries among others, according to Eng. Getahun Mekuria, Minister of Ethiopia’s Innovation and Technology.
Gradually Ethiopia aims to fully design build and launch satellite by its own engineers and from Ethiopia in the future, according to Eng. Getahun.
“…Currently as a nation we are spending a lot in foreign currency for transponder satellite renting. In order to avoid such huge recurrent spending in the future, we are now working to build fully our own satellite within three to four years time,” he said, briefing journalists this afternoon in his office.
He also indicated that when Ethiopia will build its own satellite and launch it to the pace within four year time, the country will also be able to serve other eastern African countries.
“We have finalized feasibility study on how we generate foreign currency by providing satellite services to neighboring countries,” he said.