Ethiopia Launches First Multi-Spectral Remote Sensing Satellite

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopia-SatelliteDecember 19, 2019 ( -- Ethiopia has launched its first-ever Multi-Spectral Remote Sensing Satellite ET-RSS1 to space from China on Friday, December 20, 2019, at 3:21GMT.

An Ethiopian delegation comprises of high-level officials from the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Members of Parliament, Ethiopian scientists witnessed the Ethiopian satellite going to space from China.

The Ethiopian ministry of defense fired 21 gun salutes as the nation launched the Satellite.

The 72kg multi-spectral remote sensing satellite of Ethiopia was the 99th satellites that were launched in 2019 by world countries.

The satellite with mainly observational purposes is expected to provide all the necessary data on climate change and weather-related phenomena that would be used for agriculture, forestry, and natural resources conservation activities.

In a briefing last month, Minister of Innovation and technology Getahun Mekuria said the satellite will be positioned at 80-degree latitude around Ethiopia and East and West African countries.

The satellite will arrive at its orbit after traveling 700 km in 30 minutes. It will begin sending information immediately, it is learned.

Ethiopian space scientists will have complete command and control over ET-RSS1 at the Entoto space observatory facility located on the outskirt of Addis Ababa.

High level government officials, religious fathers, regional presidents and space scientists attended the monitoring and controlling activities of the satellite at the Entoto space observatory facility.

In April this year, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, visited the China Academy of Space Technology, the prime developer of the satellite, to inspect work done on the project.

By launching its own satellite, Ethiopia aims to build space science technology application capacity and skills of its space science engineers through collaborations with different countries’ space scientists and institutions so that Ethiopian scientists will be in a position to design, build and launch the second satellite independently.

The nation also wants to use the satellite for social and economic development purposes and will save up to 300 million birr it would otherwise spend to purchase data on agriculture, mining, etc., from other countries.

Reports show that in Africa, South Africa and Algeria have already launched their own communication satellites to orbit so far, while Egypt launched its first satellite on November 21, 2019.

The satellite is estimated to cost Ethiopia around $8 million without taking into consideration insurance and training costs. The cost reportedly includes the design, development, and manufacturing of the satellite, which is done by both Ethiopian professionals and their Chinese counterparts.

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