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Ethiopia launches its first satellite with help of China
Africa

Ethiopia launches its first satellite with help of China

Ethiopia has launched its first satellite into space, as more sub-Saharan African nations strive to develop space programmes to advance their development goals and encourage scientific innovation. Before dawn on Friday, senior officials and citizens gathered at the Entoto Observatory and Research Centre just north of the capital Addis Ababa to watch a live broadcast of the satellite's launch from a space station in China. China completes landing test for its first Mars mission in 2020 "This will be a foundation for our historic journey to prosperity," deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen said in a speech at the launch event broadcast on state television. The satellite was designed by Chinese and Ethiopian engineers and the Chinese government paid about $6m of the more than $7m manufacturing costs, Solomon Belay, director-general of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, told Reuters News Agency. Another eight satellites were put into orbit by the same rocket, including an Earth observation satellite jointly developed by China and Brazil as part of a bilateral programme, which is seen as a template for broader cooperation among both countries as well as Russia, India and South Africa.