Nigeria to send its first astronaut into space

Nigeria announced plans to send its first astronaut to space. The space mission is being organised with an intention of research purpose; some critics consider it a waste of resources in a country lacking substantial scientific infrastructure.

Director General of Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency explained on Wednesday that this collaboration marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s 25th anniversary of space exploration and opens new opportunities for scientific research and technological advancement.

The space is funded by Space Exploration Research Agency (SERA). The agency of US has elaborated on its mission to send the first Nigerian civilian to space. Nigeria’s space exploration journey positions the country as the first in Africa to achieve such a feat.

Co-founders of SERA – Joshua Skurla and Sam Hutchison made a revelation that the project is fully sponsored by SERA with no financial commitment from the Federal Government. Both of them also noted that the selection process would be democratic as the Nigerians will vote to choose their representative for the historic mission.

Skurla said that SERA aims to raise awareness about the benefits of space exploration and encourage private sector investment in the industry.

Moreover, Nigeria boasts a rich history in space exploration and support by a competent space agency and talented engineers, researchers and scientists.

Co-founder Hutchins added that Nigeria has much to gain from space exploration and they believe that the private sector should consider how space can fuel business growth.

The duo explained that resources are limited on our planet but in space, there is abundance of them. Hundreds and thousands of asteroids are composed of materials such as platinum, nickel, tungsten and rare earth elements that float freely and are waiting to be tapped.

However, Nigeria cannot afford to look away from these resources in space. The nation must come together, suggests the SERA co-founders.

Partnership with Nigerian Space Research and Development Agency ensures the legitimacy of the project. The first Nigerian astronaut will not only create history but will also gain worldwide fame and return to contribute his part in economic development of the nation.

Notably, Nigeria announced plans in 2016 to send an astronaut into space by the year 2030, as a part of its drive to develop a world-class space industry. The launch will mark the first-ever manned excursion into outer space by an African nation in the history of space exploration.