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Out of this world: Tunisia launches its first satellite

A large screen in the Tunisian capital Tunis shows the launch of Russia's Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan   -  
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FETHI BELAID/AFP or licensors


It's a small step for aerospace but a big step for Tunisia as it launches its the first satellite manufactured locally.

The satellite, called Challenge one , is intended for the Internet connectivity, was launched into space Monday.

Tunisia is the first country in the Maghreb to manufacture its own satellite, and the sixth on the African continent.

The small satellite will be launched by a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Tunisia says it hopes to launch 20 more in the next 3 years.

The African space market is now worth over $7 billion annually, according to the website Space in Africa, which reports that it ”is likely to grow over 40 percent in the next five years”.