Browsing: NASA

Space technologies to soar with the construction of Africa's first spaceport

Africa is set to establish a $1B orbital spaceport in the Republic of Djibouti, positioning the continent in the global space race, making the first on African soil. This follows the signing of a partnership deal with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology to build a facility for launching satellites and rockets in the Northern Obock region.

Djibouti’s president, Ismael Omar Guelleh, presided over the signing of the preliminary deal, also to be done in partnership with Touchroad International Holdings Group, paving  way for the final agreement; a formal contract signing expected in April or May, following a visit to China by Djibouti experts.

Indeed, it’s a milestone for the continent which has been the only region in the world without a launch site. It’s a major project that will boost the economy of this desert nation in the Horn of Africa, and is projected to be built over five years.

The …

martin.mwita Transforming agriculture Africa
  • The continent spends over USD60 billion yearly on food imports that it could generate domestically.
  • African countries have allocated large sums to agriculture, but according to experts, this is insufficient.
  • As a result, countries are experiencing deficits even as governments continue to spend billions of dollars bolstering their military defenses, which fuels conflict, displacement, and hunger.
In a study utilizing satellite data from NASA’s Landsat, researchers from the universities of Maryland and Texas in the United States cast doubt on the rapid development of cultivated land in Africa.

It was previously recorded that Africa’s agricultural area has expanded by more than a third during thepast two decades (2000-2019), accounting for 52 percent of the global increase, or 102 million hectares.

The continent is said to contain around one-fourth of the world’s agricultural land but millions of people continue to face malnutrition as dry and semi-arid regions are devastated by drought.

Special Report: How East Africa is contributing to global climate change knowledge

At Kapiti research station, 70 Km south of Nairobi, scientists based at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and its Mazingira Centre – a-state-of-the-art environmental and education facility in East Africa is conducting essential climate observations. Collecting actual data on how the climate is changing in Kenya’s Savannahs has remained a challenge. Thus, the data available to show climate variations in East Africa has always needed validation.

The most commonly used method is use of satellite imagery which unfortunately lacks the ability to show actual data for a specific area spanning a couple of kilometers. This data captured by satellite, especially land surface temperature and greenhouse gas emissions might have a certain level of difference with that observed on the ground, commonly referred to as variance. Further, the use of satellite imagery and simulations are often not calibrated to the region where they are applied to and thus have an …