Sumbandila-Sat was originally meant to have been launched last year from a Russian submarine. However, the Russian Ministry of Defence refused to authorise the launch. Russia’s civilian space agency, Roskosmos, nevertheless wishes to honour its agreement with South Africa to launch the satellite.
The Russian delegation will be discussing the possible launch of the South African satellite on a Russian civilian rocket from the world-renowned Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Meanwhile, the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) hope that the national outer space policy, and the national space strategy will be launched at Africa Aerospace and Defence 2008 in Cape Town in September.
The DTI is the lead department on space policy, while the DST is lead department on space strategy.
The space strategy has been completed. As for the space policy, the first public consultation session on it took place in Pretoria, on Tuesday, and the second session is scheduled for Cape Town, on Thursday.
It is hoped that the space policy and space strategy can be presented to the Cabinet at the same time late this month, or early next month.