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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Nigeria To Send Astronauts To Space

Nigeria has taken serious steps to put the country’s first man into space in 2015 with the assistance of the British government.

The federal government, according to dailymail.co.uk, has accepted £300million this year alone to set in train ambitious plans to launch the country’s own rockets.

The medium said the first Nigerian astronauts are being trained to join Russian, Chinese or American missions within the next two years.

Britain’s support for Nigeria’s space initiative and other countries has been criticised by its nationals, who said that the Department for International Development’s budget will rise by 35 per cent in real terms by 2015. They said while aid costs are ballooning, spending on the military, the police, border control and care homes is being slashed by the government.

Britain is also spending about £280million a year on aid to India, another country with its own space programme.

Jonathan Isaby from the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “When budgets are tight both for families and the government alike, people cannot understand why ministers are sending more of our hard-earned cash overseas. Taxpayers find it especially unacceptable when their money is sent abroad as aid to developing countries which then somehow find sufficient cash to fund the likes of a space programme.

“It is totally unacceptable that British taxpayers’ money is effectively subsidising Nigeria’s efforts to send an astronaut into space”, he said.

Nigeria’s space programme started in 2003 but its first satellite lost power and disappeared from orbit.

It now has three in space, NigComSat-1R, NigeriaSat-2 and Nigeria-Sat X, the first to be constructed by Nigerian engineers.

Although Nigeria has bought its own satellites and launched on Russian rockets, the federal government has built laboratories which it hopes will produce its own space craft by 2028.

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