Kenya launches its first satellite into orbit

Kenya, the first satellite has been successfully launched into orbit, following two unsuccessful attempts earlier in the week. Taifa-1, an African satellite, was one of the payloads launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Unfortunately, due to adverse weather conditions, the rocket’s launch had to be postponed twice prior to the successful attempt.

The Kenya Space Agency has announced that the newly launched satellite will make orbits over the country every four days, gathering crucial data for agricultural, land, and environmental monitoring.

In the coming months, the satellite is expected to provide valuable data, and the government has already assembled a team of analysts to process this information. The government has also declared its intention to offer this data free of charge to government organizations and at a reasonable cost to commercial firms.

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The satellite was initially designed and built in Kenya, but its physical manufacturing took place in Bulgaria, carried out by Endurosat. The entire project incurred a cost of 50 million Kenyan shillings, equivalent to $371,000.

Kenyan citizens showed great interest in witnessing the live internet broadcast of the Falcon 9 launch. For many, the successful launch of Taifa-1 into orbit became a source of immense national pride.

Back in 2018, Kenya had already embarked on its space journey by deploying an experimental nanosatellite from the International Space Station.

As per Space Hubs Africa, a consultancy firm specializing in space-related matters, by the conclusion of 2022, a total of 52 satellites had been launched by 14 African countries across the continent.

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