Ethiopia and India consider space partnership


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The new colonial movement: Ethiopia and India are in discussions about forging a space partnership.

The article gives little details about this partnership, focusing mostly in describing Ethiopia’s space ambitions.

The Ethiopian government announced in early 2017 that it intends to build its own medium-sized space launch vehicle (SLV) and develop the capabilities to domestically build satellites. The Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said that it will develop a medium-sized SLV that should have its maiden launch within the next three years, according to MOST spokesperson Wondwosen Andualem.

Andualem also pointed out that Ethiopian capacity and capability to build its own satellites is increasing, thanks in part to the partnerships forged by Ethiopia with foreign governments and companies. The Ethiopian government has already stated that it seeks to develop and build satellites for the purposes of national security, disaster management and response, and land management.

…In November 2015, the Mekele Institute of Technology in Ethiopia launched a rocket called Alpha Meles to an altitude of 30 kilometres. The Alpha Meles rocket is believed to cost U.S.$2.3 million to develop, build, and launch, but there have been no reports of any subsequent launches of the rocket.

The question of whether Ethiopia really has a space program remains unclear. It could be that they are exploring this partnership with India because of internal problems getting their independent rockets off the ground.

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2 comments

  • SCoop

    Ethiopia!? You’re talking about a country with a lower GDP than West Virginia! Why in the world (or off it) do they want a space program?

  • wodun

    All of these countries looking to build rockets are going down the wrong path. They should be focusing on developing things that ride on rockets. Its unlikely that anyone’s first stab at launching rockets will be able to compete with existing providers, much less SpaceX. Instead of going against SpaceX’s strength with their weakness, they should leverage other’s strength to their benefit.

    It costs a lot less money to develop satellites and other space based vehicles than it does to develop a new launch system and the stuff that gets launched. Existing providers can support a high launch rate, so a country’s space industry can launch more often than they could by themselves. This will allow them to have a higher production rate for their space based products.

    This assumes that these countries actually have the goal of domestic satellite or related industry.

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