Sixty years after humanity’s first foray into space, a Nigerian will soon follow suit, thanks to a collaboration between the Space Exploration & Research Agency (SERA) and Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).

SERA, NASRDA, Blue Origin signs partnership to send first Nigerian into space

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SERA has secured a spot on an upcoming Blue Origin New Shepard suborbital flight specifically for a Nigerian citizen. This opportunity, funded by SERA, is available to Nigerians aged 18 and above.

NASRDA, SERA, IS SET TO PUT THE FIRST NIGERIAN ASTRONAUT IN SPACE AT NO COST TO THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT. - National Space Research & Development Agency

The partnership with Blue Origin aims to diversify space exploration by including individuals from countries traditionally underrepresented in the field. In 2022, the initiative successfully sent Brazilian civil engineer Victor Hespanha into space.

“Space exploration has historically been limited to a few nations, but Nigeria has a rich tradition of scientific innovation,” noted Joshua Skurla, SERA’s Co-Founder. “Partnering with NASRDA allows us to extend this legacy into space and open new horizons for Nigerian space explorers.”

This milestone signifies Nigeria’s progress in space exploration. Since the approval of the National Space Policy in 2000 and the establishment of NASRDA shortly thereafter, Nigeria has launched six satellites, including its first, Nigeria Sat-1, in 2003. The country aims to send its first astronaut into space by 2030.

“This partnership is a testament to Nigeria’s rising influence in the global space community,” stated Dr. Matthew Adepoju, Director General of NASRDA.

Uche Godfrey Nnaji, Nigeria’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, emphasized the significance of this achievement, highlighting that human space flight is a strategic pursuit for the nation.

 

 

 

Victoria Ibiama