http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.69Change: -0.05
R/$ = 12.32Change: -0.01
Au 1168.78 $/ozChange: -0.02
Pt 1083.00 $/ozChange: 1.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Feb 06, 2009

Why a South African national space agency?

Back
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Exploration|Resources|Africa|Infrastructure
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Exploration|Resources|Africa|Infrastructure
construction|engineering|africa-company|exploration|resources|africa|infrastructure
© Reuse this



When South African President Kgalema Motlanthe's signed the Bill that will see the creation of South Africa's own space agency later this year, many were relatively unaware of South Africa's rich involvement in space research over the decades.

The National Space Agency Act is to pull together all the disjointed South African space-related activities under one banner, in an effort to synthesize technology and resources so as to provide for the establishment of a national space agency, which will implement a space programme in South Africa.

South Africa's history of involvement in space-related activities is a rich one, starting with astronomy, which has been practised in South Africa since 1685.

In 1820, a permanent observatory was established outside Cape Town. Astronomy has been practised continuously since then. The next 180 years saw continual scientific astronomical endeavours, culminating in the construction of the Southern African Large Telescope in Sutherland.

When the ‘Space Age' dawned, and satellites and men were first sent into space, South Africa was involved. From the 1950s to the 1970s, satellites were tracked from South African facilities to determine the effects of the upper atmosphere on their orbits.

Lunar and interplanetary missions were supported from a tracking station at Hartebeesthoek, near Krugersdorp. This station received the images of the planet Mars taken by the Mariner IV spacecraft. These were the first images of Mars and of another planet to be received on Earth.

In the 1980s, South Africa began work on a launcher and satellite, but this was discontinued in 1994. However, in 1999, South Africa launched its first satellite, Sunsat. The 64-kg microsatellite was built by staff and students at the University of Stellenbosch. The team that built Sunsat is currently planning the launch of a second, more capable South African satellite in March, called Sumbandila.

South Africa has a variety of institutions that play a significant role in the scientific study, exploration and use of space. These institutions, situated in academia, science councils and commercial industry, have broad competencies in satellite applications, satellite engineering and space science, including all the supporting technologies.

The existing infrastructure and skilled workforce, inside these facilities and in the wider industry supporting them, allows South Africa to position itself as a regional hub of space science and technology.

This can be used as a basis for strengthening ties with industry in established space-faring nations, and for developing links with other emerging national space initiatives, particularly in Africa.

South Africa is an active participant in the international space arena. South African space professionals participate in numerous specialist and political forums, such as the United Nations Committee on the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Currently, South Africa and Australia are vying for the opportunity to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the largest and most sensitive radio telescope ever to be established.

The SKA will consist of thousands of dishes between 10 m and 15 m in diameter. Special antenna tiles in the core of the array will form a ‘radio fish-eye lens' for all sky monitoring at low frequencies. This will allow many independent observations to be performed simultaneously.

A final decision regarding its location is to be given in 2010, while the construction is to begin in 2014. If built in South Africa, the core of the SKA will be in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape Province.

Outer stations will fan out from the core in a spiral pattern, with proposed remote stations in several other African countries and neighbouring islands.

 

 

Edited by: Laura Tyrer
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Defence News
The United Nations on Tuesday denied a media report that Sudanese troops held South African peacekeepers in Darfur hostage so Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir could leave South Africa and avoid being arrested to face genocide charges. Bashir, who was due to attend...
More than 800 terrified South African soldiers in Sudan feared the worst when their camp was surrounded by Sudanese troops. "In order to save lives, we would have to have surrendered if they stormed us. One battalion of soldiers without proper weapons could not fight...
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula addressing 119 young graduates at the Drakensig Military Sport Complex in Limpopo
Acts of ill-discipline amongst members of the SA National Defence Force will not be tolerated, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said. “The military is a family unit, where in a war situation the duty to protect life doesn’t lie with you, but with your fellow...
More
 
 
Latest News
An end to wage negotiations within the local government sector could be in sight as a conciliator’s proposal, setting out a number of settlement suggestions to resolve the deadlock, was expected on Monday. The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu)...
Development financier Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) executive Noludwe Ncokazi on Friday said the organisation had the “huge responsibility of ensuring business continuity”, following the resignation of ECDC subsidiary Automotive Industry Development...
South Africa’s second-largest oil refinery, Engen Refinery (Enref), is set to undergo a three-day planned maintenance outage from July 9 as part of an ongoing maintenance programme to ensure that the facility, which delivers a significant portion of South Africa’s...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
NHLANHLA NENE The main constraints to economic growth are domestic
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene earlier this month stated that, while South Africa’s 2015 economic growth target of 2% was achievable, it was not enough to deliver the tax revenue needed to combat the country’s challenges.
The World Steel Association has published the 2015 edition of the World Steel in Figures report, which shows an increase in steel production as well as provides an overview of steel industry activities from crude steel production to apparent steel use.
The 25-year master plan for Gauteng’s Aerotropolis project will go through a process of approval and adoption during June and July, says Aerotroplis project manager Jack van der Merwe. “We are also in the process of putting together a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to...
SOLAR PANELS The existing buildings in the Coega Industrial Development Zone lent themselves well to rooftop solar panel installations
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) plans to fit 15 of its buildings, totalling 127 000 m2 of roof space, in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), in the Eastern Cape, with solar panels.
The Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA’s) November 2014 judgment, ordering steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to hand over the 2003 Environmental Master Plan for its Vanderbijlpark steel plant to environmental pressure groups, confirmed the right of civil...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96