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Africa's First Step to the Space Race Starts in 2017

Nov 30, 2016 07:36 AM EST
Africa's First Step to the Space Race Starts in 2017
Does Africa have what it takes to lead the space race?

(Photo : NASA)

A new satellite, which will be set out to collect pertinent information regarding natural disasters all over Africa, will be launched within next year. It gains its popularity not only because it is the continent's first private space satellite, but it has also been conceptualized by a group of high school girls. Experts believe that now, more than ever, is the best time for Africa to finally join the space race.

Africa's competitive steps toward finally joining in the journey to space have focused not only on bringing their representations out of this world but also making sure that African women are rightfully represented, as reported by The Seeker. The satellite launch in 2017, the first of many for Africa, has been opened its doors to young girls who aspire to become space engineers in the future.

According to a report from The Conversation, out of the entire continent, South Africa, and Nigeria are the most advanced in this space game. South Africa has actually launched their first satellite as early as 1999. Ghana and Kenya have started their own space programs in 2012. However, 2017 is a big year for the continent as it may be the first year where they will move progressively as a continent as supposed to individual space agencies per country.

A report from Business Insider has indicated that it is only through a continental space alliance that Africa would be successful in their advancement to space travel. It would be more effective to collect budgeting and funding as a whole than to only enhance individual domestic capabilities.

Among the goals of this alliance is to provide a satellite monitoring of calamities in the continent, which is expected for success by next year. They also aim to use satellites to provide connectivity to rural parts of Africa. It has also been reported by CNN that Nigeria plans to send the first African Astronaut to space by 2030. 

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