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Building an African space program from the ground up

Michelle Sibiloni / AFP - Getty Images

Chris Nsamba, the founder of the African Space Research Program, leans against the African Skyhawk, an aircraft built to test the skills of the program's engineers, in Kampala, Uganda, on Nov. 11.

Standing in the yard of his mother's home in a suburb of the Ugandan capital, Chris Nsamba maps out his dream -- within the next ten years, the space enthusiast wants to launch one of his countrymen into orbit. 

Nsamba, founder of the African Space Research Program, outlined his plans to Agence France-Presse as he showed off the African Skyhawk, an aircraft built by his team of volunteer engineers to test their skills before they begin work on a shuttle.

Nsamba is well aware of the skepticism with which many will greet his plans, but it does not seem to affect him. At one time or another, he says, every successful scientist has been called a madman.

Michelle Sibiloni / AFP - Getty Images

Sarah Lugwama, center, Chris Nsamba's mother, watches the African Skyhawk jet being constructed in the back yard of her home in the Kampala suburb of Ntinda on Nov. 11.

Watch a video report on Nsamba's team's achievements thus far by NTV Uganda:


A few days after Makerere University unveiled its locally assembled electric car, the Kiira EV, another group of Ugandans continues with yet another innovative venture- that of assembling the country's first aircraft. The group that started out a year ago has now progressed and is in the final stages of putting up the aero-plane.

Previously on PhotoBlog: Auto-mechanic builds DIY airplane for $395