(Ecofin Agency) - Djibouti turns to space technologies for climate data collection, among other things. The country plans to launch its second satellite in Q1 2024. It also intends to soon build a satellite and rocket.
Djibouti launched its first satellite last Saturday, Nov 1. The spacecraft, dubbed Djibouti 1A, was launched from the Vandenberg spaceport in California, USA.
The satellite was built under a partnership between the Djiboutian government and its technical partner, the Centre Spatial Universitaire de Montpellier (CSUM). Since 2020, the CSUM began training the Djiboutian engineers who designed, built and tested the nanosatellite.
According to Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, Djibouti's Minister of Higher Education and Research, "the aim was to ensure that the satellite was made by our students to make this technological leap and say without complex that Djibouti is capable of making a satellite capable of harvesting results on climate, but also of engaging in development prospects."
Djibouti 1A passed its vibration tests in March 2023. In July, both Djibouti 1A and Djibouti 1B were declared ready for launch. The second satellite should launch into orbit in February 2024. Both satellites are part of the Hydrosat project, which aims to collect climate data for the government. In January this year, the Djiboutian government partnered with a Chinese firm to build a satellite and a rocket launch port. The project will cost around $1 billion.
Djibouti 1A should help the Djibouti authorities access real-time national data from climatological and seismic stations, such as temperature, rainfall, river depths and hydrometry across the national territory.
Isaac K. Kassouwi