Nigeria set to send first citizen to space

In a historic development, Nigeria is set to make history by sending its first citizen to space . This remarkable achievement is made possible through a partnership between the Space Exploration and Research Agency (SERA) and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA). An official launch date has not been revealed yet.

The journey to space has long been a topic of interest for Nigeria, with the country’s space program dating back to 1999 with the establishment of NASRDA. The launch of Nigeria’s first satellite, Nigeria Sat-1, in 2003, marked the beginning of an ambitious space exploration journey . Now, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SERA and NASRDA, the dream of sending a Nigerian to space is finally becoming a reality.

The mission, made possible by SERA’s partnership with Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin, will see a Nigerian citizen embark on a suborbital spaceflight aboard the New Shepard spacecraft . The initiative aims to promote inclusivity in space exploration, providing opportunities for individuals from underrepresented nations to experience the wonders of space.

According to the Director General of Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency, Mathew Adepoju, “this collaboration, which is coming to the country, marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s 25th anniversary of Space Exploration journey and opens new opportunities for scientific research and technological advancement.”

Signing the MoU on behalf of the Government, Chief Uche Godfrey Nnaji, Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology stated:

“We are delighted to see this partnership come to fruition. Human space flight is not just a random aspiration of our country but a major objective of the Nigeria Space Policy and Program, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2001. Reviving and implementing all abandoned national plans is a cardinal point of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This partnership provides a way of achieving our long-time aspiration as a nation.”

This historic achievement is expected to inspire a new generation of young Nigerians to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) . The mission serves as a testament to the power of global collaboration and the boundless potential of human achievement.

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