Kenya to launch its first earth observation satellite

Kenya is preparing to launch its first-ever earth observation satellite in what is being described as a landmark achievement in the country’s space exploration efforts.

Nation-1 or Taifa-1 in Swahili, is scheduled to be launched next week aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The satellite is designed to provide earth observation data for use in agriculture, food security and environmental management, the defence ministry and Kenya Space Agency said in a joint statement.

It was “fully designed and developed” by Kenyan engineers in collaboration with a Bulgarian aerospace manufacturer, the statement added.

A delegation from Kenya is expected to travel to the US for the launch.

The mission is seen as a significant milestone for Kenyan scientific innovation. The country is suffering its worst drought in decades after five failed rain seasons.

In 2018, Kenya launched its first experimental nano-satellite from the International Space Station.

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