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.