Nigeria is planning to the first African country for sending an astronaut into space. Even though the space programs from Africa are nothing new, owing to the long history of efforts made by the country, the recent space programs in Africa look more promising than ever. Within the last decade, the continent has entered into the realm of space.
Within the last few years, various space projects have been launched by Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia to make a mark in the space technology.
Even though none of the African countries is yet eligible for the moon travel, South Africa and Nigeria have emerged as the countries with most advanced space programs in the entire continent.
Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the world’s biggest radio telescope that is set to be hosted by South Africa.The telescope is an attempt to enable the astronomers for looking deeper into space and holds the sensitivity of multiple times the sensitivity of the current telescopes. If it becomes successful, it would become a major turning point in the history of South Africa. $790 million is the approximate cost of the first phase itself.
Carla Sharpe, business manager at SKA claims that the telescope is an attempt to successfully look at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The optical telescope can only see the visible light whereas the radio telescope can even study the electromagnetic spectrum that occurs over a number of frequencies. She claims that the development of the space programs is the basic need for economic growth in the country.
The African countries see technology as the driving force behind growth and consider space to be an ultimate area for technological development. Despite more pressing concerns in the country which are making the space programs look like a waste of money, Africa isn’t backing out from the race.
Nigeria is leading the field when it comes to space travel since they want to be the first African country for sending an astronaut into space by 2030. Ethiopia has opened up Entoto Observatory and Research Centre which aims to monitor the weather conditions by launching a satellite into the orbit within five years. Ghana has managed to send its first satellite successfully into the orbit.
THE FINAL RESULT
Even though the country lags behind in the global space race, across the countries, there has been a rapid rise in the advancement of space technology. Collaboration between African countries can boost up the speed of development but it still looks like a futuristic goal.
Right now, the countries are evolving on their own and trying to make their own mark in the field of space.