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Alba Iulia
Monday, November 22, 2021

Zambia targets to launch own satellite in next two years-Mutati

Economy Zambia targets to launch own satellite in next two years-Mutati

Government has set a target for Zambia to launch its own satellite atleast in the next two years in order for the country to have timely data to inform decision making.

Technology and Science Minister Felix Mutati said this ambition will need to be backed by the development of a space science policy which should underpin the target to launch the satellite as a starting point.

Mr. Mutati said what the country is doing now is borrowing space from other satellites which limits access to data when it is needed.

Mr. Mutati was speaking during a familiarization tour of the National Remote Sensing Centre and the National Institute for Scientific Research infrastructure in Lusaka.

Mr. Mutati said as a result of lacking access to data due to the dependence on foreign satellites, certain disasters which could be avoided are not prevented.

He said the new dawn government’s goal is that as the country is developing its 8th National Development Plan, the anchor for this document should be that by the end of its implementation, Zambia will be able to launch its own satellite.

Mr. Mutati said there are already a number of cooperating partners that are willing and stand ready to give funding support especially that the country already has impressive scientific capacity to put up a satellite, which can be locally setup by Zambian brains.

“The goal for the next development plan is that Zambia must launch a satellite with which we will be able to address our challenges in agriculture, land use, health and energy among others which will put the country at a different pace. For everything that we do, launching a satellite becomes the overarching goal,” Mr. Mutati said.

He said government pronounces itself that the next venture for Zambia in the space of science is to launch a satellite using the knowledge and capabilities of the scientific brains of the country to deal with challenges in real time.

The Minister said it is in the interest of the nation that climate change must be dealt with in real time and having a satellite is the most crucial component.

And Mr. Mutati tasked the National Remote Sensing Centre to find a strategy on how important national planning information can be conveyed to the broader population instead putting monopoly to it as part of a deliberate effort to implement resolutions made at the Cop 26 on climate change mitigation.

Drones

37 COMMENTS

  1. That will only be possible when the economy is fixed ……..and working to full capacity…….

    Only then a satellite built with Zambian input and launched into space by one of the established space agencies can be a possibility………

  2. I thought the National Institute for Scientific Research was renamed Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research. I suspect a small error here. Anywhow, launching our own satellite should be driven by strict cost and benefit analysis. Can we really afford it? I don’t know and those in the know should help us to optimize our decision on this issue. There are many areas in Zambia where we do not lack information but still no reasonable decisions are being made.

  3. Thats great but convincing Zambians who worship poverty its an up hil battle…ECL had such great ambitions..r.g coming up with an nuclear power plant…poverty cried foul..and condemned this.. people dont know that wealthy is in technology not farming

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  4. And now they’re not talking about loadsheding,fixing the economy,creating employment for the youths…fuel shortage..expensive food etc….now just diverting attention….notice no one is paying attention to HH’s speeches anymore….truth has finally downed on the voters…..HH’s thread only 8 comments …..Lusambo’s thread 40 comments….looks like bloggers are not even reading any news about HH….boza ubufi…chimbwi no plan almost 4 months now still kuwayawaya

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  5. We like big ideas and big ambitions but please don’t take the Zambian people for a ride. Two years to launch a satellite for a country that can’t produce it’s own matches to start a fire here on earth? Seriously, just look at the data he is looking at and the room itself…why can’t those scientists sort that out first before they start giving Zambian’s false hope. This could be an excuse to borrow big, just like the nuclear power station project promised by the PF. We know it can be done in two years but that would require partnership with the Chinese, Russians or Indians. Nice dream though.

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  6. Zambia has lagged behind despite having being a pioneer on most fronts. Zambia had the first TV Transmitter in the region built at Kitwe but to date it hasn’t been upgraded. RSA is far ahead despite being a newcomer. There has never been any improvement since the establishment of the earth satellite at Mwembeshi in 1984. Therefore, this program is long overdue. Perhaps what we need to debate is the funding model. Sometimes Zamtel has to buy back space at great cost on Mwembeshi just to accommodate national programs. So I fully support this initiative and I hope it won’t rigged through the procurement process.

  7. Nomba kwena, is this a priority? People need jobs, the economy needs to be fixed and someone starts talking about launching our own satellite?
    Ala kuwayawaya fye.

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  8. We have failed to take off with Zambia airways here on earth but we think we have the scientific capacity to do this in two years in space? Nice dream but please sort out the mess here on earth first. I take it this program will also use green energy due to our commitment to saving our planet?

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  9. This is not a priority, you sound like the old regime! No plan. Google Zambia’s space program from just post independence and you will see where this is going…..

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  10. Not this story again, we have heard it since the late 1970s when Mobutu wanted one. Is it some kind of status symbol like a sports car? Cheaper to buy the data surely

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  11. FutureZed – Its the reckless PF who went ahead with a doomed idea of launching an airline even when they were told it was not economical. FYI launching a Russian micro satellite or orbital rockets only costs maximum $20 million and 17 countries that have built their own, including Argentina, Taiwan and New Zealand. The advantages to the Telecoms, education, agriculture sectors and traffic monitoring to are limitless….satellites are even used for Disaster mitigation,

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  12. Mutati is now talking big and progressive ideas this is what we want to hear …unless owning a satellite is in itself your objective, how you are going to use it is the first very important thing to consider. The idea is worth pursuing for those applications that cannot be accomplished if not from orbit and those whose techniques are most cost-effective in space.

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  13. Kabisa – If you knew Mobutu Sese Seko you wouldn’t have mentioned him in your sentence…I urge you to look t the pros and cons of owning your own orbital rocket…Zambians we have to think beyond our noses, this is why we dont have many millionaires in dollars in Zambia because we are our worse enemies

  14. Issacher – The potential for job creation in countless sectors is limitless…it has a domino effect…guys please open your eyes and stop exposing your ignorance.

  15. Hahaha the new childish govt. They don’t know if they are coming or going. I m enjoying watching their loyal tribal dig tarino panicking to explain all their useless decisions every day. You look desperate tarino and it hasn’t even been a year yet. Hahahaha

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  16. I’m surprised that some people are saying this project isn’t a priority! It means people don’t know the benefits of a communications satellite. Mutati must seriously consider to ferry maize and deliver inputs to remote areas especially those with poor feeder roads using drones

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  17. Ayatollah – We Zambians are our own worse enemies just look at the Drug Procurement in Zambia…only foreign companies are authorised to do it and they are a handful of them who have been doing it for years. Who sets these rules? The regulator which is staffed by Zambian civil servants that have been getting kickbacks for years from this setup. And everytime there is a procurement contract even if its paracetamol its listed as an emergency so they cut corners but take even a year to deliver half the consignment.

  18. I think we have bigger fish to fry for the next 5 years or so.

    But I support the idea.

    Let us recover stolen assets and jail some thieves first. This is what we are really really waiting for.

    I just hope some people are not becoming too comfortable now that they have been elected into the highest office.

  19. @Tarino Orange – are you the real Tarino on this occasion?…it’s difficult to tell these days..there are many facets to your blog name! Anyhow, just a small correction at number 19 above, “we Zambians are our own worse enemies” It’s ‘worst’ – not ‘worse’ you are trying to convey the superlative of ‘worse’ so, it’s worst! Cool?

    #plant a tree now!

  20. @Tarino Orange, pointless to try and convince me with your figures and excuses. When we have a change of government, we don’t have a change of scientist too so our mindset remains the same. You want us to believe that launching an airline is a doomed idea, however embarking on a space program is economical because it’s being done by the MMD…or sorry UPND? We like the idea but we know our country is not so organised and disciplined enough to undertake such a project. Sort out load shedding first. Imagine trying to launch and you get power cut? We like optimism but let’s be pragmatic first.

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  21. Why must taxpaYERS pay for this get private companies to do it after all these satellites only cost 20 mill US, use that money for school education and free schooling and let the private companies own them.

  22. 1] Firstly, there is NOTHING wrong to have a plan. On one hand some bloggers are calling out UPND government as having NO plan, and when something like this is presented, you raise resistance. 2] This is a Ministry of Science and Technology, it’s not the Ministry of Energy, so comments about load-shedding, etc, seems out of bounds. 3] Dependance on foreign satellite is a huge Security Risk, and Mutati has said the impact is that it impacts government decision making, including PF. 4] Satellites are Not spaceship sent to ISS, every country is striving to have their own especially now needed to fight climate changes. Low cost, that stolen by PF. 5] Cooperating partners are willing to fund and putting up a satellite, will be done locally by Zambian brains. So employment creation.

  23. 1] Firstly, there is NOTHING wrong to have a plan. On one hand some bloggers are calling out UPND government as having NO plan, and when something like this is presented, you raise resistance. 2] This is a Ministry of Science and Technology, it’s not the Ministry of Energy, so comments about load-shedding, etc, seems out of bounds. 3] Dependance on foreign satellite is a huge S.ecurity Ri.sk, and Mutati has said the impact is that it impacts government decision making, including PF. 4] Satellites are Not spaceship sent to ISS, every country is striving to have their own especially now needed to fight climate changes. Low cost, that stolen by PF. 5] Cooperating partners are willing to fund and putting up a satellite, will be done locally by Zambian brains. So employment creation.

  24. Zennia – Thank you very much for the correction …predictive text went crazy on me and I can not edit my posts after I submit on LT’s dated comment platform. I can see that you are UK based and unfamiliar alias..my message on this blog is simple and that is to see my country prosper.

  25. Hanongo – How much do you think Rwanda spent on their orbital rocket or satellite? It was less than $25 million…now much did you waste on 42 X42 Fire trucks or Honey Bee debacle – $17 million or that national airline…Brain Mushimba gave EA $30 million…the problem is you do not know how much potential you have and how rich you are.
    Wake up!!!

  26. FutureZed – Maybe you should do a cost benefit analysis…then get back to here, someone already mentioned Mwembeshi satellite in Mumbwa which is obsolete I mean how much have we been paying private satellite companies for costly data space from 1984? If it was a musungu businessman in Zambia saying this you would have been clapping wildly.

  27. Dudes Mwembeshi kapena ni obsolete due to today’s fibre optic cable technology – quite some shallow thinking shown here. 25 million to launch a satellite but how much to build it? And does Mutati understand the satellite requires an infrastructure, you don’t just “put” a satellite. Maybe the reporting is insufficient in detail anyway but nadabwa ka level of technological understanding

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  28. To put it another way – it is UNIP-speak, that you could expect from Chikwanda or Grey Zulu in the 1980s. Provide government costings, not asking bloggers to provide their own!

  29. Kabisa – Launching a single satellite into space can cost anywhere between $10 million and $400 million, depending on the vehicle used. A small launch vehicle such as the Pegasus XL rocket can lift 976 pounds (443 kilograms) into low-Earth orbit for about $13.5 million. That works out to be almost $14,000 per pound (How stuff works.com, 2021). Rwanda’s satellite only measures 10 x 10 cm Cubesat weighing less than 1.2 kg (2.64555 pounds) was designed for space research to help the Rwandan government monitor water resources, natural disasters, agriculture and meteorology,
    The Rwandan satellite was build by a team of Rwandan engineers with support and supervision from the University of Tokyo was launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 (Africa…

  30. Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 (Africa news,2019).
    Why are we quick to shoot down ideas instead of looking how we can also do it at reasonable cost ? This can also be used as a learning platform for our UNZA Professors and Engineers.

  31. Kabisa – The govt is not asking you to provide costings this is why the articles explicitly informs you that “Government has set a target for Zambia to launch its own satellite atleast in the next two years in order for the country to have timely data to inform decision making.”
    Please read this out aloud to yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. @Tarino Orange, don’t put me at your level with your jungle economics. Your argument appears to be incoherent and makes very little sense. I don’t even think you understand what people are saying because you are so busy trying to force your own agenda. Stop wasting people’s time.

  33. Tarino Orange are u the owner of Lusaka Times cos you are brassing off comments from others and u think too intelligent and highly educated just cos upnd has come to power. Talk about the zambian economy , Loadshedding should stop. Don`t live to praise all the time upnd when it is failling to fulfill what it promised zambians.Be sincere and move out of negativity. It is one Zambia one nation and Zambia is for all.

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