Ethiopia to design, construct and launch the country's first satellite into space

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By Yohannes Anberbir

The Ethiopian government is set to design, construct and launch the country's first satellite into space, according to Debretsion Gebremichael (Ph.D.), Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Cluster and minister of Communications and Information Technology. The minister told parliamentarians on Tuesday that the satellite will be primarily used for communication purposes and, if all goes according to plan, the satellite will be launched in a matter of two years.

“It is not something that is going to happen overnight since it requires proper financing and human resource,” Debretsion told Mps.

Once everything is finalized the launch will take place outside of Ethiopia, he added.
According to the website of the Ethiopian Space Science Society, the ET-SAT, a small satellite (CubeSat,) is set to become the first satellite by an Ethiopian institution.
During a meeting held at Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT,) of Addis Ababa University (AAU,) back in August 2012, AAiT’S deputy scientific director and QB-50’S ET-SAT project principal investigator, Dr/Eng. Getahun Mekuria announced that the proposal for ET-SAT has been pre selected by the QB50 project office, the Von Karman Institute (VKI,) BrusselsBelgium, among 71 proposals from 38 countries, the website read.
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The principal investigator  further stated that ET-SAT is to be designed and constructed by the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) team with the aim of carrying out lower thermosphere research and to teach youngsters about satellite technology.

Fifty CubeSat are to be constructed and launched by universities and institutes all over the world under a project named QB50 and AAiT is the only institute in Africa to be pre-selected up to now. 

“The government has an intention to consider building a communication satellite and hence it is necessary to develop a roadmap that charts the various milestones that capture our vision and the current intended project. Furthermore, to bring all stakeholders of this intervention, organizing a workshop would be an essential first step,” Debretsion said at the meeting.
Ethiopian reporter
 
Press Realease, Ethiopian Space Science Society
 
It has been mentioned that ET-SAT, a small satellite (CubeSat), is set to become the first satellite by an Ethiopian institution to be designed, constructed & launched to space.
During a meeting held at Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT), of Addis Ababa University (AAU), on August 9, 2012, AAiT’S Deputy Scientific Director and QB-50’S ET-SAT project Principal Investigator (PI), Dr.-Ing. Getahun Mekuria proudly announced that the proposal for ET-SAT has been pre selected by QB50 project office, the Von Karman Institute (VKI), Brussels, Belgium, among 71 proposals from 38 countries. He further stated that ET-SAT is to be designed and constructed by Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) team with an aim of carrying out lower thermosphere research and to teach youngsters about satellite technology.
 50 CubeSat are to be constructed and launched by universities and institutes all over the world under a project named QB50 and AAiT is the only institute in Africa to be pre-selected up to now.
Dr. Debretsion G/Michael, Minister of Ministry Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), who also attended this historic meeting, hailed the importance of ET-SAT project for the country and firmly assured that the Ministry will support the project in every necessary aspect.
Minister Debretsion G/Michael also stated that “The government has an intention to consider building communication satellite and hence it is necessary to develop a roadmap that charts the various milestones that capture our vision and the current intended project. Furthermore, to bring all stakeholders of this intervention, organizing a workshop would be essential first step.” 
On this memorable meeting, Mr. Tefera waluwa, Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) board chairman, former deputy prime minister and minister of capacity building, expressed his joy by saying “I will be the first to be there and see this project come to a fruitful end. He further stated ” I appreciate the initiation taken by the AAiT QB50 team and the relevance of this  project is beyond its intended scope and we should all make the most of  this opportunity by coordinating our efforts on a broader scale to strengthen our capacity on research and education aspect of such space technology”.
Mr. Tefera also encouraged the QB50 ET- SAT team that the Entoto Space Observatory center is at their service 24 hours and also mentioned that the center will be fully operational once the two scientific Telescopes installed in the coming weeks.
Prof. Young Kyun Kim, Scientific Director of AAIT, who also participated in the meeting, promised to offer his full support for the project and assured that he will work hard to mobilize Korean Universities and other establishments to cooperate with AAiT for the realization of this project and more. 
In order to start the construction of ET-SAT, AAiT has to sign a contractual agreement with VKI after ensuring the availability of funding for the project.
QB50 would allow 50 double and triple CubeSats to be constructed by universities and institutions all over the world and to be launched into space all together in the first half of 2015 in a single rocket. All 50 CubeSats will be launched out of Murmansk, situated in the Northern Russia, into a circular orbit at 320 km altitude, inclination 79° around the Earth.
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Comment by Million kassa on February 15, 2013 at 3:16am
This is good news to all Ethiopian!!!
Comment by Natnael Tilahun Kifle on February 14, 2013 at 11:51pm

Great Job.

It is the sign of how Ethiopia is growing up to . . .

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