Nigeria’s Plan to Launch Satellite by 2025 No Longer Feasible, NASRDA Reveals

Nigeria’s ambitious plan to launch a satellite by 2025, along with the aspiration of sending a Nigerian astronaut to space, has hit a significant roadblock. The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) announced during the ongoing 8th Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Expo that the envisioned launch is no longer feasible due to financial constraints and logistical challenges.

The Director-General of NASRDA, Halilu Shaba, conveyed this setback, emphasizing the capital-intensive nature of satellite launches and the agency’s current lack of financial readiness. “Presently, we don’t have the window to send an astronaut to space because it is very expensive,” stated Shaba. He further elaborated that while Nigeria possesses the necessary manpower, the resources required for such endeavors are currently unavailable.

According to NASRDA’s 25-year roadmap, launching a Nigerian astronaut into space and deploying an indigenous satellite from Nigerian soil were key objectives slated for 2025. However, with the current financial limitations, these goals seem increasingly distant.

Despite the setback, NASRDA remains optimistic about the country’s space aspirations. Shaba highlighted that the agency already has the satellite design ready, awaiting enhanced budgetary allocations to materialize its construction and launch. Furthermore, he underscored Nigeria’s existing capabilities, noting the operational status of NigeriaSat-2, which continues to provide invaluable imagery for Nigeria, Africa, and beyond.

The potential of Nigeria’s space industry cannot be understated, with estimates suggesting it could be worth up to $1 billion. NASRDA had previously indicated that Nigeria could generate $20 million from launching a single satellite, demonstrating the significant economic opportunities associated with space exploration.

In addition to its space endeavors, NASRDA has made notable strides in other areas, including the development of a rocketry program in collaboration with the military and leveraging satellite technology for geo-visualization of terrorist activities in the North East and crime mapping.

While the immediate goal of launching a satellite by 2025 appears unattainable, NASRDA remains committed to advancing Nigeria’s presence in space and harnessing the potential benefits it holds for the nation’s development.

This revelation underscores the challenges inherent in space exploration and the need for sustained investment and commitment to realize ambitious goals in this frontier of scientific endeavor.

SOUREC: BusinessInsiderAfrica

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