Space Program of Lesotho

------The Lesotho Space Agency------

Level = 0                                         Development: Very Low


Country Overview

What has been going on in Lesotho?



Space Agency and its Activity

What kind of space power do they have?



Weapons and Power Projection

Does Lesotho have space weapons?



Timeline and the Future

What are they planning over there?

Population: 1,800,000 / Language: English / GDP: $3,300 / Cities: Maseru

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Major construction work has been under way in recent years to create the Lesotho Highlands Water Project to supply South Africa with fresh water.

Resources are scarce - a consequence of the harsh environment of the highland plateau and limited agricultural space in the lowlands. So, Lesotho has been heavily dependent on the country which completely surrounds it - South Africa.

Over the decades thousands of workers have been forced by the lack of job opportunities to find work at South African mines. South Africa has on several occasions intervened in Lesotho's politics, including in 1998 when it sent its troops to help quell unrest.

The former British protectorate has had a turbulent, if not particularly bloody, period of independence with several parties, army factions and the royal family competing for power in coups and mutinies. The position of king has been reduced to a symbolic and unifying role.


Lesotho has one of the world's highest rates of HIV-Aids infection. A drive to encourage people to take HIV tests was spurred on by Prime Minister Mosisili, who was tested in public in 2004.

Poverty is deep and widespread, with the UN describing 40% of the population as "ultra-poor". Food output has been hit by the deaths from Aids of farmers.

Economic woes have been compounded by the scrapping of a global textile quota system which exposed producers to Asian competition. Thousands of jobs in the industry have been lost.

    Population: The Kingdom of Lesotho

  Head of state: King Letsie III

King Letsie III succeeded his father, King Moshoeshoe, who was dethroned in 1990.

Five years later, after the return to civilian government and amid political instability, he abdicated and his father was reinstated as monarch.

Letsie III was restored as king in 1996 after his father died in a car accident. The monarch has no legislative or executive powers.


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 Lesotho's Space Infrastructure

Lesotho is one of the world's poorer countries, not only does it not have an agency, but also no infrastructure in which one would arise. The National University of Lesotho does not offer astrophysics, astronautics or aeronautics, and the government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.

Lesotho has no history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has any launch capability.

Lesotho lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it.

Lesotho operates no satellites and, not having a presence, has no space power.

The government of Lesotho in Masuru has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.


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Timeline of Events in Lesotho

...From the Past to the Future

1820s - Basutoland founded by Moshoeshoe, who unites various groups to repel challenges from Zulus.


1834 - Territorial encroachment by Boer trekkers starts decades of conflict.

1860s - Becomes a British protectorate.

1871 - Annexed to the Cape Colony without people's consent.

1884 - Becomes a British colony after revolt against Cape Colonial rule. Paramount chiefs retain large degree of autonomy.

1939-45 - World War II, with 20,000 Sotho serving in the British forces.

1950s - Political parties emerge, press for independence.



1966 - Independence as Kingdom of Lesotho, with Moshoeshoe II as king and Chief Leabua Jonathan (Basotho National Party) as prime minister.

1970 - Oppostion Basutoland Congress Party leads in polls but Chief Jonathan suspends constitution, sends king into temporary exile.

Disputed elections in 1998 sparked violence, army mutiny

1986 - South Africa blocks borders, demanding expulsion of anti-apartheid activists. Major-General Justin Lekhanya replaces Chief Jonathan in coup.

1990 - King Moshoeshoe II goes into exile. His son is sworn in as Letsie III.

1991 - Lekhanya forced out by Colonel Elias Tutsoane Ramaema, who lifts ban on political activity.

1993 - Basutoland Congress Party comes to power in elections.

1994 - Fighting among rival army factions.


King Letsie III restored

1995 - Moshoeshoe II restored to throne, but dies in a car crash. Letsie III restored as king.

1997 - Basutoland Congress Party dismisses Ntsu Mokhehle as leader. He forms the Lesotho Congress of Democrats (LCD).

King Moshoeshoe II, Lesotho's first king


1998 - LCD wins general elections, Pakalitha Mosisili becomes prime minister. Opposition stages protests against results. Rioting breaks out. At government's urging the South African Development Community (SADC) sends military force to help restore order.

Multiparty Interim Political Authority is established to review the electoral process and organise next elections.

1999 May - Last of South African and Botswanan troops sent to quell 1998 unrest withdraw.

2000 February - Tens of thousands of people and heads of state attend King Letsie III's marriage to Karabo Montsoeneng at national sports stadium in Maseru.

2002 May - Masupha Sole, former head of Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, found guilty of accepting bribes from foreign construction companies in return for business on Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which supplies water to South Africa.

2002 May - Ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) wins parliamentary elections, held under new system which gives smaller parties voice in parliament. Poll endorsed by international observers but rejected by opposition as fraudulent.

Mosisili's second term

2002 June - Prime Minister Mosisili is sworn-in for a second five-year term.

2004 February - Prime Minister Mosisili declares state of emergency, appeals for food aid. Aid officials say hundreds of thousands face shortages after three-year struggle against drought.

2004 March - Official opening of first phase of multi-billion-dollar Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which supplies water to South Africa.

2005 April - First local elections since independence: Voters choose representatives for 129 local councils. Opposition parties boycott the vote and allege a lack of preparation.

2005 November - Lesotho launches programme to offer HIV tests to all citizens.

2006 October - Lesotho marks 40 years of independence from Britain with a new flag.

Former communications minister Thomas Thabane and 17 other MPs leave the ruling LCD to form the opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC).

2006 November - Parliament dissolved ahead of early elections set for 17 February.

Dutch aid worker shot and killed at house of Trade Minister Minister Mpho Malie, who is thought to have been the intended target. The attack was similar to one which injured Foreign Minister Monyane Moleleki and another which killed MP Bereng Sekhonyana earlier in the year.




Nothing Planned


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