Friday December 1st, 2023
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Egyptian Space Agency to Launch Mission at International Space Station

The Egyptian Space Agency, the Kenyan Space Agency, and the Uganda National Space Programme will soon have their joint-mission flown to the International Space Station to record climate data.

John Bichara

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) held a competition to see who would win a free 12-month science mission based on the International Space Station (ISS), and they've just awarded the prize to a joint project by three African space agencies. The Egyptian Space Agency, the Kenyan Space Agency, and the Uganda National Space Programme (a part of the country's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) will soon have their joint-mission, ClimCam, flown to the ISS on board one of Airbus Defence and Space's platforms.

The ClimCam project (short for 'Climate Camera') will install a remote sensing camera system on the ISS, which will monitor the impact of climate change on East Africa, such as floods and weather changes. The camera will be developed by experts from the three African space agencies, and will use an 'open data' policy that will allow the images to be shared with scientists from across the region. The project is hoped to inspire African scientists and engineers to reach for the stars by showcasing the continent's technological developments with space research.

As part of the competition, Airbus has awarded the joint mission with an All-in-One Space Mission Service, which means that Airbus Defence and Space will take care of all aspects of the mission, including preparatory formalities, payload launch, installation, operations and data transfer.

The Egyptian Space Agency has been cooperating increasingly with nations across Africa. Earlier this year, Egypt was chosen to host the upcoming headquarters for the African Space Agency, with the Egyptian Space Agency bringing the full potential of Africa's space research together, and preparing them for the development of emerging technologies. These technologies - which include using satellite images to support projects on the ground - are hoped to stimulate Africa’s agriculture, and to develop social and economic innovation for all Africans.