Prominent NASA Astronaut Lectures to Young Ethiopian Space Enthusiasts

Addis Ababa November 10/2018 Former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut, Charles Bolden, gave a lecture today to space enthusiast students drawn from the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) and different schools in Addis Ababa.

The former astronaut told ENA that he was in Ethiopia in 2014 when he had discussions with government officials.

“Now I saw a dramatic enthusiasm in the students and officials. This will help science and technology to go forward in the country where even the new Prime Minister is interested in science and technology,” he said.

Bolden took time with the students to mainly “motivate students to work hard in their studies, particularly for space science in the future.”

Regional Environment Officer for East Africa at the U.S Embassy in Ethiopia, Christopher M. Nyce said Bolden had discussion with the Innovation and Science Minister and Head of Entoto Space Observatory.

They described their plans to invest in science and technology and emphasized its economic benefit to the nation, he added.

According to him, USA has ongoing communication with Entoto Space Observatory and there is cooperation on space science policy with AU. NASA has helped to review AU Space Policy too.

“Bolden spoke to the youth about the importance of science and technology as well as exploring space with the view to inspiring them to pursue career in science and understand our life and planet and know how to protect it,” Nyce underscored.

A 16-year-old ESSS member, Melan Mohammed said “I am excited to see the famous former NASA astronaut Charles Bolden here discussing with us about his space exploration experiences.”

He pointed out that “we are inspired by Charles Bolden and determined to work hard to achieve our ambition in space science and related technologies.”

Melan said “our government is giving attention to space science through the institutions and we are ready to share the experiences of any scientist.”

ESSS Space Ambassador Hawi Yehualashet said “the presentation and question and answer session has inspired us and added to our know how about space science.”

More than 30 students attended the lecture of Charles Frank Bolden, who has  overseen the safe transition from 30 years of space shuttle missions to a new era of exploration focused on full utilization of the International Space Station and space and aeronautics technology development, led the agency in developing a Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts to deep space destinations such as an asteroid and Mars and established a new Space Technology Mission Directorate to develop cutting-edge technologies for the missions of tomorrow.