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Nigeria Plans to Launch an Astronaut Into Space

May 20, 2016

Can the “Giant of Africa” make it happen?

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, and ranking 20th in total GDP in the world, just announced plans to send one of its citizens into space before 2030. It’s part of the country’s ongoing plan to become a world-class space power.

When we think about the world’s current space players, the U.S. automatically tops the list. Then there’s Russia, Europe, and China. Japan and India aren’t too far behind, but they have some major strides to make. Finally, on the lowest tier are countries like Malaysia, Egypt, Indonesia, and Iran, among others. Nigeria doesn’t even really come to mind for avid space enthusiasts.

The African country is looking to change that soon. The country launched its space agency NASRDA (National Space Research and Development Agency) back in 2001, and launched its first satellite, Nigeriasat-1, back in 2003. A second satellite was launched in 2007, and another pair were launched in 2011. Three of those are still in orbit — including the most recent, NigeriaSat-X, which was designed and manufactured entirely by NASRDA scientists and engineers.


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