Did You Know? ZAMBIA HAD A SPACE PROGRAM IN THE 1960S
In 1964, still living the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program that would put the first African on the moon, catching up to the United States and the Soviet Union in the space race.
Although it sounds unlikely during the 1960s, Zambia was home to a space program, but it was not a very successful one. It started because a Zambian citizen was intent on beating the Americans and the Russians in being the first to send a man to land on the moon.
16-year-old Matha Mwamba was chosen as the first person to attempt a mission to Mars. Nkoloso claimed that by the end of 1964 the teenage girl astronauta, along with two cats and a Christian missionary, would make the journey to the Moon and then on to Mars.
Asides from the space program, there was also a grant for £7 million that was applied for in order to send 12 astronauts and a cat to Mars but this was denied and the space program failed. This is probably our favourite fun fact about Africa.