As part of Nigeria’s plan to develop a world class space program, it has announced plans to send a man to the moon by 2030.
“This would be a landmark achievement for Nigeria and Africa, which will encourage the rest of Africa to get involved”
A Nigerian Space Agency delegation will visit partners in China this month to discuss logistics and investment for a manned space mission, which would be the first by an African nation.
Since 2003, The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), has launched 5 satellites into space. 3 of those are still in orbit. NigeriaSat-X is the most recent satellite and was fully designed and constructed by NASRDA. NASRDA is also developing is currently developing more advanced models.
The satellites that are currently in orbit are used to improve farming practices by analysing climate data but they are also being used to retrieve hostages from Boko Haram which is what government officials use to defend the space exploration program as essential for Nigeria.
The challenge that arise from launching an astronaut into orbit are great and more optimistic than previous missions but the leading figures from the space industry are quite positive. It takes 8 years to train an astronaut from selection to flight, so 2030 is realistic.
Nigeria already shares resources from its space assets, such as providing satellite imagery to Mali, and has supported the idea of an African Space Agency.
“This would be a landmark achievement for Nigeria and Africa, which will encourage the rest of Africa to get involved,”