The Kenyan government announced that the country will launch its first operational satellite next week.
Taifa-1 is the Swahili phrase for “one nation,” and on April 10 a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying Taifa-1.
In a joint statement, the Defense Ministry and Kenya Space Agency declared, “The mission is a significant milestone. It will significantly contribute to the country’s burgeoning space economy.”
The statement said that the observation satellite would gather data on themes like as agriculture and food security. It was “fully conceived and built” by Kenyan engineers.
A Bulgarian aerospace manufacturer collaborated with the firm during testing and manufacturing, according to the report.
Kenya, the economic powerhouse of East Africa, is enduring its worst drought in decades. This is as a result of five consecutive failed wet seasons.
The launch of the satellite is part of a bigger effort by the African nation to boost their scientific research.
Egypt was the first African country to launch a satellite in 1998, as it was the first to do so.
In 2018, the first experimental nanosatellite from Kenya was launched from the ISS.
By 2022, Space in Africa, a Nigerian corporation that tracks African space projects, predicts that at least thirteen African countries would have built 48 satellites. The African nations of Ethiopia, Angola, South Africa, and Sudan are examples.
According to Space in Africa, more than fifty African satellites have been launched as of November 2022. However none had been launched from African soil
In January, the government of Djibouti signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Hong Kong company to create a commercial spaceport that would cost $1 billion and take five years to complete.