The spaceport, expected to include seven satellite launch pads and three rocket testing pads, will be the first orbital spaceport on the continent.
Africa is entering a very exciting period in which it is asserting its scientific and engineering capabilities. Humankind’s exploration of space is the highest form of human discovery of the universe, and introduces into society new advanced technologies. With the completion of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam in 2025, a scientific-engineering marvel, and the creation of Djibouti’s spaceport in five years, Africa is demonstrating its leadership for the 21st century, and creating the scientific foundation for economic growth. This is true sceintific-econimic progress for the nations of Africa, whcih should make all poeple, of all nations happy.
Janary 23, 2023, Quartz Africa Weekly
Africa could soon get a new spaceport after Djibouti signed a partnership deal with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology to build a facility to launch satellites and rockets in the northern Obock region.
According to the preliminary deal, the Djibouti government will “provide the necessary land (minimum 10 sq km and with a term of not less than 35 years) and all the necessary assistance to build and operate the Djiboutian Spaceport.”
The $1 billion spaceport project will also involve the construction of a port facility, a power grid and a highway to ensure the reliable transportation of aerospace materials.
The deal’s signing was presided over by the president of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, and the project is set to be completed in the next five years.
The spaceport is a massive milestone for Africa, making it the first orbital spaceport on African soil.
The Djibouti spaceport project
According to Victor Mwongera, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kenyatta University, the projection will avail a launch base that will serve all Africans.
“It will push eastern Africa off the sleeping state as far as active development of space-based innovations are concerned,” he explained.
Trial and small-scale launches have been executed in Africa in the past, including the Italian-operated Broglio Space Centre (San Marco) in Malindi, Kenya and Algeria’s Reggane.
Mwongera sees the expansion of Africa’s space industry—with a number of African countries already building and operating their own microsatellites—as a growing trend.
“It has taken time but we needed time as a continent to be ready for this age. Now that we are ready, you are seeing the number is increasing and it is bound to increase further,” he said.
Africa’s space industry is a billion dollar sector
According to the 2022 annual sector report of research firm Space in Africa, the value of the African space and satellite industry has risen to more than $19.6 billion.
The charge is fuelled by 14 countries that have launched 52 satellites into space.
South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, and Nigeria have the highest number of satellites in space as of 2022, each having launched more than five satellites.
Mwongera explained that east African countries are well positioned to harbor more spaceports, due to their proximity to the equator.
“At the equator… there is minimal energy required,” he said.
The original version of this article was published by bird-Africa no filter.