Ethiopia Launches Its First Satellite into Space

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has launched its first Remote Sensing Satellite, ET-RSS-1 , into space on Friday as part of an effort to advance its development goals and scientific innovation.

Designed by Chinese and Ethiopian engineers, the 72 kg multi-spectral remote sensing satellite was launched on a Long March-4B rocket before dawn today.

Senior government officials and citizens gathered at the Entoto Observatory and Research Centre to watch a live broadcast of the satellite’s launch from a space station in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi.

“This will be a foundation for our historic journey to prosperity,” deputy prime minister Demeke Mekonnen in a speech at the launch event broadcast on state television.

The satellite will be stationed in 700 km away from the earth, and is expected to monitor the environment and weather patterns for better agricultural planning, drought early warning, mining activities and forestry management of the country.

Ethiopian engineers will fully take over the control and monitoring of the satellite from the multi-satellite tracking and data receiving ground station built at Entoto Observatory on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

The launch of the satellite will save about 350 million birr Ethiopia pay to get data from others annually.