hit or miss- Eyeing the stars: Ethiopia’s space programme

Ethiopia ambitions is to go to space, hit or miss, i would say despite their problems, they are way ahead of Kenya, bado kenya is stuck in sugar crissis

[SIZE=6]Eyeing the stars: Ethiopia’s space programme[/SIZE]
By AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE | August 25, 2015
Reflective one-meter telescopes are pictured at the grounds of The Entoto Observatory and Research Center/AFP

[B]ETHIOPIA, Aug 25 – High above the crowded streets of Addis Ababa, among fields where farmers lead oxen dragging wooden ploughs, sits Ethiopia’s space programme.
Perched on the top of the 3,200-metre (10,500-foot) high Mount Entoto, two metal domes house telescopes, each a metre in diameter.
Operational for only a few months, the specialized equipment — the first in eastern Africa — has propelled Ethiopia into an elite club of African countries to have embarked on a space programme.

For Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, the programme is aimed to give it a technological boost to aid the country’s already rapid development.

“Science is part of any development cycle — without science and technology nothing can be achieved,” said Abinet Ezra, communications director for the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS).

“Our main priority is to inspire the young generation to be involved in science and technology.”

ESSS, funded by Ethiopian-Saudi business tycoon Mohammed Alamoudi, was set up in 2004 to promote astronomy.

– ‘People said we were crazy’ –

It has a bold mission: “To build a society with a highly developed scientific culture that enables Ethiopia to reap the benefits accruing from space science and technology.”

But its supporters have had a tough ride to set it up.

For the past decade, a handful of enthusiasts — including Solomon Belay, director of the observatory and a professor of astrophysics — battled with the authorities to convince them that in a country that is still one of the poorest in the world, where malnutrition is still a threat, the exploration of space is not a luxury.

Ethiopia strongman Meles Zenawi, who died in 2012, considered them to be dreamers.

“People said we were crazy,” said Belay. “The attention of the government was to secure food security, not to start a space and technology programme. Our idea was contrary to that.”

The space observatory is, above all, a symbol.

The $3 million (2.7 million euro) centre houses computer-controlled telescopes and a spectrograph, to measure wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.

It allows the handful of astronomy and astrophysics students at the University of Addis Ababa to train on site, rather than taking expensive trips abroad.

“Being poor is not a boundary to start this programme,” Solomon said, adding that by boosting support for science, it would help develop the country.

“Engineering and sciences are important to transform our (traditional) agriculture into industry.”

– Rocket launch –

The site here at Entoto, often hidden by clouds during the rainy season and close to the lights of Addis Ababa, struggles to compete with the world’s major observatories, including the far larger Southern African Large Telescope in South Africa.

But Ethiopia has plans, including to build a far more powerful observatory in the northern mountains around Lalibela, far from city lights.

With the authorities now won over that Ethiopia should invest in space science, the government hopes to launch a national space agency — and to put an Ethiopian satellite in orbit within five years, for the monitoring of farmland and to boost communications.

“We are using space applications in every day activities, for mobile phones, weather — space applications are fundamental,” said Kelali Adhana, the International Astronomical Union chief for East Africa, based in Ethiopia. “We cannot postpone it, otherwise we allow ourselves to live in poverty.”

At Ethiopia’s Institute of Technology in the northern town of Mekelle, scientists plan to test the first Ethiopian rocket to go more than 30 kilometres into sky, although that it still far from the 100 kilometre frontier, beyond which the Earth’s atmosphere gives way to space proper.

Ethiopian astronauts however, remain far off — even if in a country that lays claim to be the birthplace of humankind, with the remains of the ancient hominid Lucy in Addis Ababa, the prospect of conquering space is an attractive one.

“We are in no hurry to go to deep space,” said Belay.

http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2015/08/eyeing-the-stars-ethiopias-space-programme/ [/B]

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waste of resources and people are starving


The country has its priorities wrong. Many people live in squalor and this is like a kick in their balls.

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Ujinga ya kiafrica… Space wanaenda kupanda mahindi?

They already said people would think they are nuts.

Another White Ethiopian elephant. Shida ya huko hamna mtu wa kuteta. Utafinywa mpaka ushangae.

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It is a good investment because they will renting it out at a fee to astronomy students around the region! I understand they are also the only country with a flight simulator in the region. But I think we are not doing so badly! At least we have nuclear power aspirations of our own! :):):slight_smile:


I wish I can be allowed into that observatory! Astronomy is fun!

People said the same of the Indian space programme just the other day.

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Luther, dont even bother. You see, the ‘intellectuals’ here just think of their stomachs. They cant quite remember that when Colombus set out for the Americas, people were starving in Europe. They cant remember that even today there are poor people in the Russia and the US even though these are space-faring nations.

The reason why Africans never seem to discover anything is that they are like the idiots here - they just prioritise food. And sex. Just like canines.

Now let them shoot me


You make some of the crapiest sex jokes and stories here. You were talking about which scientific achievement when you posted about Mama Dan? Or when making cheap shots at Nefertities and before that it was Purr_27 and your silly jokes hitting on monkey. Go and sleep old man,you suffering from dementia.

Mathice, your attempt to ingratiate yourself with the ‘gals’ is too transparent. Or you are just an idiot, if you cant tell banter from serious talk

The tragedy of the african intellectual. Your government spends a fortune to educate you, some are even flown to europe and america, but the moment they return they only think of their stomachs and how to drink alcohol at night. Then they steal government money and all they can think about is investing in real estate.
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/420/19015715102_e342390566_b.jpghttp://www.samrack.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Weston_Hotel.jpg http://www.emporis.com/images/show/674236-Large-lookingup-toward-the-northeast.jpg http://www.jambonewspot.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Railahomebillion.pnghttp://softkenya.com/hotel/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/12/Heron-Hotel.jpg
Advice to a kenyan intellectual, open a factory and employ people, export goods and maybe some good will accrue to the citizenry from your corruption money like in asia, but alas, in Kenya the corrupt intellectual only dabbles in real estate, further hurting the mwananchi by making land oo expensive
I laud ethiopia, they have a dream and they go after it


Shocks, sometimes I just feel like crying. Going by the reasoning of these so-called intellectuals, why should we be investing in 3G and 4G networks when some Kenyans are starving? Why should we be investing in the SGR? Why should we be investing in geothermal energy? Why should we be investing in writers? Why should we be investing in poets? Why should we be investing in art?

You see, everything to them boils down to food. And sex.

Like canines.

and sardines

@Mathice respond to these allegations

Oh, sardines! Look what dem niccur cats do now, boss!

Hapa umeonyesha true village elder credentials
There was that listing on krost about a muzungu mocking lake Zambia, and how their intellectuals spend countless hours in bars talking their intellectual jargon, but very little to show on the ground in terms of innovation and problem solving

I always tell folks it starts with you. For how long are we going to lament on the transgressions that afflict us as a continent? We have the pertinent answers to our problems but taking that first step is what separates us from the Western World. What we lack as a continent is a balance between needs and wants and also accountability. It’s a good step for Ethiopia based on the strategy they have for the future.

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They can always import from Kenya…