SA gears up for launch of micro-satellite

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says that South Africa expects to launch a micro-satellite from Russia next month.

While addressing a symposium at UCT this week, she said the launch was planned for August.

Engineering News quoted the minister as saying: “The main objectives of this programme [called the SumbandilaSat] are to strengthen the technological capabilities and space resources that exist in South Africa, to develop capacity in satellite engineering, and to provide Earth observation data for a wide range of applications,” she said.

“The development of SumbandilaSat offers our country and region a number of advantages, including scientific and economic growth, and information to use for sustainable development, security and planning.”

According to Engineering News, the R26-million SumbandilaSat was designed and built by specialist South African micro-satellite company SunSpace & Information Systems, and has a mass of 81kg. Its function is Earth observation.

Sumbandila means “lead the way” in Venda.

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