Nigeria Announces Plans To Send First Civilian To Space

Nigeria has announced plans to send its first civilian astronaut into space by 2030 as part of its ambitious goal to develop a world-class space program. This would mark a significant milestone for Nigeria and the African continent, as it would be the first time an African nation has sent a citizen into space.

The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has been tasked with leading Nigeria’s manned space mission efforts. NASRDA has already launched several satellites since 2003, including communication and Earth observation satellites, demonstrating Nigeria’s growing capabilities in space technology.
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However, Nigeria has faced challenges in fully realizing the objectives laid out in its 2000 National Space Policy and 2005 roadmap. While Nigeria has made progress in areas like satellite development, it has fallen behind on goals like establishing a domestic rocket launch facility and launching a Nigerian-made satellite. The planned 2030 manned mission also appears to be an ambitious target, as Nigeria has not yet begun training astronauts or developing the necessary infrastructure.

Despite the setbacks, Nigeria remains committed to its space program and sees it as a strategic national asset. The government has provided political support and increased investment in NASRDA’s infrastructure and skills development.┬áNigeria also hopes its space program will inspire other African nations to pursue space capabilities and establish an African Space Agency.Ultimately, while Nigeria’s plans for a manned space mission by 2030 may be optimistic, its steady progress in building domestic space technology and expertise suggests it is positioning itself as a emerging space power on the African continent.

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