ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia 

Ethiopia on Friday successfully launched the first-ever earth observatory satellite designed to collect and forward data required to modernize agriculture and mitigate drought.

There were smiles, hugs, and handshakes as Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen, officials, and engineers at the Addis Ababa flight control station watched the satellite take off from China.

The jubilant crowd had gathered at the flight control station to witness the launching of the Chinese-built satellite, called ETRSS-I.

The news of the launch was greeted with a 12-gun salute. All state-run TV and radio stations provided extended live coverage.

Mekonen called the launch a milestone in

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