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Nigeria to Send its First Citizen to Space

The initiative is an offshoot of SERA’s ongoing partnership with Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin to send six people from countries historically underrepresented in space exploration

Nigeria’s government has teamed up with global Space Exploration and Research Agency (SERA) and billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to send its first citizen to Space almost six decades after the first human landed there.

Nigeria’s head of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Mathew Adepoju disclosed the arrangement on Wednesday, saying that it marked a significant milestone in the country’s 25-year space exploration journey.

For over two decades, the West African country has talked up its space ambitions and made some efforts, Tech Cabal reported. Since launching its first satellite—Nigeria Sat-1 in 2003–it has gone on to launch five more other satellites. In 2016, officials said they plan to send its first astronaut to space by 2030.

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The partnership with SERA and Blue Origin now allows a Nigerian, aged 18 and above, to fill one of the six seats on the New Shepard suborbital spaceflight.

The initiative is an offshoot of SERA’s ongoing partnership with Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin to send six people from countries historically underrepresented in space exploration. In 2022, when initiative started for the first time, a Brazilian civil engineer, Victor Hespanha was sent to space.

“Until now, space has been an exclusive domain, with over 80% of all astronauts to date coming from just three countries. Nigeria has a rich history of scientific and technological innovation, and we are honoured to partner with NASRDA to extend this legacy into space and create new opportunities for Nigerian space explorers,” said Joshua Skurla, Co-Founder of SERA

 

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