Ethiopia’s newly launched ETRSS-1 has captured its first few test images.
The imageries captured near China were published by the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute and primarily test run the imagery capacities of the micro-satellite launched on 20 December 2019.
According to the institute, the satellite has been tasked to take more images in the Ethiopian territory which will be announced to the public in the coming days.
The 70kg multi-spectral civil Earth observation satellite launched onboard the Chinese Long March 4B rocket (CZ-4B) will provide data for Ethiopian authorities and research institutions to monitor the environment and study weather patterns. These will help to improve agencies’ responses in areas such as agricultural planning, early warning for drought, mining activities and forestry management.
The satellite project jointly funded by the Ethiopian and Chinese government, was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), who doubles as the prime contractor, in partnership with Ethiopian engineers trained by the Chinese institute.
In total, the project cost USD 8 million, including the construction of ground station facilities at the Entoto Space Observatory near Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital. While the government of China financed the training of Ethiopian engineers and the cost of the microsatellite, the Ethiopian government funded the construction of the ground station facilities.
Currently, Ethiopia has reached an agreement with the Chinese government regarding the construction of a communication satellite; however, details of the contract are still undisclosed.
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.