The CEO of Egyptian Space Agency( EgSA), Mohamed Al-Qousi, has said that the agency is on track to launch its first satellite assembly centre. The centre projected for launch in March 2021, is the first of its kind in the Northern African region, and is located at the space and satellite technology city, which is currently under construction.
Besides the assembly centre, the Egyptian Space City will also host other facilities and building including the headquarters of the African Space Agency, a space museum, academy, planetarium, research and development centre, a library, conference centre and a hotel.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the agency, the project started three years ago, and so far, has completed construction work.
“We completed the construction works, and the equipment installation and operation would begin in the second half of the year,” Al-Qousi said. He also hinted that the agency is currently in the final stages of adjusting the subsystems of Tiba 1 satellite for operation.
The agency head, with regards to the status of the AfDev-Sat, a Pan-African satellite projected for gathering data for climate and other purposes, revealed will involve specialists from partner nations. He said the agency, at the moment, is working on procedures to familiarise these specialists with Egyptian work conditions. He stressed that the purpose of the satellite is to document climate variables, with emphasis on ascertaining the percentage of Carbon dioxide, a contributing factor to climate change, in the atmosphere.
Furthermore, the CEO hinted that a meeting will be scheduled to ascertain each country’s contribution in terms of technology and finance, as well as the project’s timeline.
The African Development Satellite Initiative (AfDev-Sat) is an integration of African countries in the field of space technology and applications to respond to domestic, regional and continental strategic needs. AfDev-Sat initiative is the brainchild of the Egyptian Space Agency, in partnership with seven African countries, including Ghana, Sudan, Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya. Meanwhile, Egypt will supervise the work and specialists on the project.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.