Nairobi: Kenya is all set to launch its first operational Earth Observation Satellite, named Taifa-1 satellite, next Monday, according to the Kenya-based newspaper, The Star.

The Kenya Space Agency (KSA) will launch the satellite on April 11 aboard the SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Kenya's Defence Ministry said that the mission is designed to provide precise and timely earth observation satellite data to stakeholders in the diverse fields of application including agriculture and food security.

The new satellite will also provide the data for the decision support to agriculture and food security, natural resources management and environmental monitoring among other details.

Further, the objective of the mission will be to "develop Kenya's technical capacity on the whole value chain of space technology development and applications."

Giving details about the mission, KSA's acting director Brig Hillary Kipkosgey said that it plays a pivotal role in putting Kenya on the global map because it contributes significantly to the growth of satellite development, data analysis and processing and development of applications, reported The Star.

"Space is the next frontier in many ways and we are happy to be part of this. This is our moment of pride," he said.

He said space science, technologies and applications are key enablers across all productive sectors of the national economy.

Kipkosgey further added that they are seeking to have capacity building on space systems engineering, space operations, data processing and analytics, Ground Station services and operations.

"We are looking at technology demonstrator on what capabilities or flexibilities we can realize with own/sovereign Earth observation asset," The Star quoted KSA's acting director as saying.

The construction and design of the satellite have been fully executed by a team of Kenyan engineers.

The manufacturing of the parts and their testing was done in collaboration with Endurosat AD, a Bulgarian aerospace manufacturer. This is because it is expensive to construct it locally, officials said.

KSA said the launch mission is the product of a design and development process that has been conducted for over two years, The Star reported.

The Taifa-1 satellite mission is an important milestone for Kenya's space programme and is expected to contribute significantly to spurring the growth of the satellite development, data analytics and processing, and applications development capabilities of Kenya's budding space economy.

Taifa-1 Sat is the first stepping stone to the development of what is planned to be a constellation of small earth observation satellites for Kenya.