Nigeria launches 2 new satellites into orbit

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ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) ? Nigeria has launched two observation satellites into orbit, eight years after launching its first satellite.

President Goodluck Jonathan said Wednesday on the state-run Nigerian Television Authority that NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X went into orbit at 8:45 a.m. (0745 GMT) from a Russian launch pad.

Jonathan said a team of Nigerian engineers and scientists built NigeriaSat-X and that NigeriaSat-2 was a collaboration with a U.K. company.

NASA’s website says Nigeria launched its first observation satellite in 2003. Nigeria’s first broadcast satellite was lost in space in November 2008, about a year after its launch.

Authorities say one of the uses of the new satellites could be to monitor disaster-prone areas in a country that suffers from droughts and floods.