http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.64Change: -0.15
R/$ = 10.60Change: -0.09
Au 1283.33 $/ozChange: 1.71
Pt 1404.00 $/ozChange: 4.00
 
 
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
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Feb 06, 2009

Why a South African national space agency?

Back
Cape Town|Africa|Australia|South Africa|Space Agency|University Of Stellenbosch|Kgalema Motlanthe|Supporting Technologies
cape-town|africa|australia-country|south-africa|space-agency|university-of-stellenbosch|kgalema-motlanthe|supporting-technologies
© 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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Aerospace News
The National Aerospace Centre (NAC) reports that it is planning to expand its skills development programmes by deploying them at more universities throughout South Africa to ensure the growth of skills development in the industry.  NAC acting director Philip Haupt...
Defence, security and technology systems company BAE Systems says unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasing within the defence industry in South Africa and worldwide. In Massachusetts, in the US, BAE Systems has introduced one of the smallest multispectral...
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENTUAVs can provide significant collateral surveillance capability to support among many other roles, the anti-rhino poaching efforts in South Africa
Understanding the vast benefits of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology is a strategic priority for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), as it is proving to have many applications within society worldwide. “As a result, UAV research is...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 2 hours 33 minutes ago As industry prepares for the launch of South Africa’s digital terrestrial migration, the South African Communications Forum (SACF) hosted a workshop to determine the country’s readiness in terms of compliance of set-top boxes [STBs] and access to funding. The...
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande
Updated 2 hours 50 minutes ago Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has outlined plans for the development of a new health and allied sciences university into which the Medical University of Southern Africa (Medunsa) campus of the University of Limpopo, located in Ga-Rankuwa, will...
Communications Minister Yunus Carrim
Updated 2 hours 59 minutes ago The costs of communicating have to drop, Communications Minister Yunus Carrim said on Wednesday. "Clearly, the costs have to come down. It's not just in the interests of the poor and disadvantaged but the economy as a whole," Carrim said in a statement following a...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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