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Science Engineering Technology

SA Novavax vaccine trial shows efficacy against B.1.351 Covid-19 variant

By: Sane Dhlamini     Updated 1 hour 15 minutes ago Results from the University of the Witwatersrand Novavax coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine trial show 51% efficacy against the B.1.351 variant in a South African study with HIV negative participants. A group in the trial, which included people who are HIV positive, showed 43% efficacy. 

Commercialisation of university innovation presents opportunities for South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2021 The commercialisation of university intellectual property (IP) and technology innovation presents considerable opportunities for South Africa and would help engender a positive impact on society and economic growth, independent technology transfer consultant Tom Hockaday has said. He was speaking... 

Fast-paced innovation driving the space industry to new heights – KSAT

By: Donna Slater     4th May 2021 A much faster pace of innovation currently taking place in the space industry is driving a “new space revolution”, Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) executive VP Arnulf Kjeldsen has said. Speaking during the 2021 SpaceOps Conference, on the topic of Commercial Ground Stations: New Space and... 

Samsung hits third BBBEE contribution status target

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd May 2021 Technology group Samsung has achieved its third successive Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Level 1 contribution status. The company strongly believes in the transformative power of technology and innovation to effect societal change and says it is fully committed to empowering... 

South African, African space industries set for large-scale growth – Sansa 

By: Donna Slater     3rd May 2021 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) is set to grow by 100 times over what it is normally used to over the next two years as Africa expands its “Space Agenda” and space ambitions, Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami has said. He gave the keynote address at the 2021 SpaceOps Conference, which... 

South African, African space industries set for large-scale growth – Sansa
Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami

Nasa’s Mars helicopter exceeds expectations and is assigned new mission

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd May 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has announced that its Ingenuity Mars drone helicopter has proven so successful that it has been assigned a new mission. Originally intended to be purely a technology demonstrator, to establish that powered and controlled flight was... 

Nasa’s Mars helicopter exceeds expectations and is assigned new mission
Photo by Nasa
The Ingenuity drone helicopter (centre-left) sitting on the Martian surface, photographed by the Perseverance rover (part of which is visible on the right)

First Nasa/SpaceX commercial crew space mission successfully completed

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd May 2021 The first operational commercial crew mission, flown by private-sector space company SpaceX on behalf of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), came to a successful end on Sunday, when the Crew Dragon space capsule successfully splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico. SpaceX was... 

First Nasa/SpaceX commercial crew space mission successfully completed
Photo by Nasa
Astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi, onboard Crew Dragon Resilience, after it was picked up by the SpaceX recovery ship

New system to advance precision health

30th April 2021 Medical technologies and digital infrastructure provider GE Healthcare unveiled StarGuide, a next-generation single-photon emission computerised tomography/computerised tomography (SPECT/CT) system that uses the latest digital technologies to help clinicians improve patient outcomes in bone... 

New system to advance precision health
MEDICAL ADVANCEMENTS GE Healthcare unveiled StarGuide, a next-generation SPECT/CT system that uses the latest digital technologies to help clinicians improve patient outcomes in bone

Registration opens for Milken Institute, Motsepe Foundation’s $2m AgriTech prize

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th April 2021 Nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank the Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation have launched the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize programme. The multiyear initiative focuses on global innovators and entrepreneurs developing technological solutions that accelerate progress towards implementing... 

China preparing to launch the first module of its new, larger space station

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th April 2021 The rocket carrying the first module for China’s own national space station is now on its launchpad at the country’s Wenchang spaceport, the journal Spacenews has reported. The rocket was rolled out to the launchpad early on Friday local time (that is, some time late Thursday South African time)... 

China preparing to launch the first module of its new, larger space station
Photo by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
The Long March 5B rocket carrying the Tianhe core module is rolled out to its launchpad

SpaceX again delivers astronauts safely to space station

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th April 2021 US space company SpaceX, founded and led by South African engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk, has successfully executed its second operational crew delivery flight to the International Space Station (ISS), on behalf of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa). If the original... 

SpaceX again delivers astronauts safely to space station
Photo by Nasa
SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour (upper left) approaches the ISS (right foreground) for docking

Mars helicopter Ingenuity is expanding its flight envelope

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd April 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) has announced that its Ingenuity drone helicopter made a successful second flight on Mars on Thursday. This flight, although still brief, significantly expanded the machine’s flight envelope. The little helicopter and its control algorithms were... 

Mars helicopter Ingenuity is expanding its flight envelope
Photo by Nasa
Ingenuity photographed by the Perseverance rover during the helicopter’s second flight

Nasa scores another technology first on Mars

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd April 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) latest Mars mission has recorded another first. Yet another technology demonstration unit carried to the Red Planet by the Perseverance lander has demonstrated success. This technology demonstrator is named the Mars Oxygen In-Situ... 

Nasa scores another technology first on Mars
Photo by Nasa
The Moxie instrument is lowered into its place in the Perseverance lander, during the latter’s final assembly.

NRF seals agreement to send PhD students to US under Fulbright programme

By: Schalk Burger     21st April 2021 The National Research Foundation (NRF) has partnered with the Fulbright Foreign Student Programme (FFSP) to support NRF-funded PhD students registered with a South African university to travel to the US to conduct research towards their doctorates at a host US institution or university. This... 

Nasa provides more details on first flight of Mars drone helicopter

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has released more details about the first ever flight by a human-built aircraft on another planet. The aircraft, an autonomous drone helicopter designated Ingenuity, made its maiden flight, on Mars, on Monday. That flight lasted a total... 

SpaceX wins Nasa contract to land next astronauts on the Moon

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2021 US private-sector space company SpaceX, founded and led by South African-born engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk, has been awarded what is probably the most prestigious single contract in the space sector today. The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) has selected SpaceX to supply... 

SpaceX wins Nasa contract to land next astronauts on the Moon
Photo by SpaceX
An artist’s impression of a Starship HLS on the lunar surface

Altron subsidiary to buy LawTrust

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th April 2021 Allied Electronics (Altron) subsidiary Altron TMTSA is planning to acquire JSE-listed Etion cyber and information security subsidiary LawTrust for R245-million. The duo entered into an agreement that will see Altron TMT absorb LawTrust to enhance its information technology (IT) security service... 

CDC, Sansa sign MoU to drive mutual benefits

By: Donna Slater     19th April 2021 Following an expression of interest entered into between the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) to identify opportunities for collaboration this year, Sansa recently hosted the CDC at its Space Operations facility, in Hartebeesthoek, near... 

Nasa’s Ingenuity helicopter makes history on Mars with first flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th April 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Ingenuity technology demonstrator drone helicopter successfully made its first flight on Mars on Monday. The flight took place at about noon, South African time. This marks a very major milestone in the history of flight: the first time a... 

Nasa’s Ingenuity helicopter makes history on Mars with first flight
Photo by Nasa
A monochrome photo taken by Ingenuity's navigation camera showing the shadow of the helicopter as it hovered over the Martian surface.

More evidence that the invention of farming led to gender-based labour divisions

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th April 2021 A new survey of a very ancient technology – stone tools – has provided evidence that supports the theory that a gender-based division of labour emerged with the adoption of farming, at least as far as Europe is concerned. A team of four scientists from Spain, France and the UK, led by Alba... 

Industry 4.0 tech adoption requires forethought

16th April 2021 For the successful adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, several considerations must be taken into account from both a technology and human standpoint, says technology solutions provider Dwyka Mining Services CEO Jamie van Schoor. “Changing mindsets to embrace technology adoption is no easy... 

Industry 4.0 tech adoption requires forethought
THE INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF ALL THINGS connectivity forms the foundation of industrial control and automation

Electricity grids to benefit from IoT

By: Nadine Ramdass     16th April 2021 Embracing renewable energy, adapting business models, reducing operational expenditure and using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can lead to effective power generation and transmission, says University of Pretoria (UP) associate professor Raj Naidoo. While the energy model for electricity... 

Electricity grids to benefit from IoT
RAJ NAIDOO The Internet of Things offers huge benefits to the energy sector

Pandemic paves the way for Industry 4.0 course

By: Darren Parker     16th April 2021 A positive consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has accelerated the progression of Industry 4.0, as it has prepared us all for a life online, says industry education entity Colliery Training College (CTC) MD Johan Venter. One of CTC’s flagship offerings is the Artisan 4.0 training... 

Pandemic paves the way for Industry 4.0 course
TECHNO TRAINING To implement and maintain Industry 4.0 technologies, artisans need to acquire appropriate skills

Nasa engineers find fix for Mars helicopter glitch, but first flight delayed for several days

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th April 2021 Engineers at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have developed a software fix for a glitch that developed in the command system of the Ingenuity helicopter. The problem emerged during a pre-flight test sequence for the Martian aircraft... 

Nasa engineers find fix for Mars helicopter glitch, but first flight delayed for several days
Photo by Nasa
The Ingenuity helicopter sitting on the Martian surface

US group extends life of a second in-orbit satellite

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th April 2021 US aerospace giant Northrop Grumman has reported that its Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) spacecraft has successfully docked with the Intelsat 10-02 (IS-10-02) telecommunications satellite. MEV-2 will extend the life of IS-10-02, which was running out of fuel (having been launched in 2004)... 

US group extends life of a second in-orbit satellite
Photo by Northrop Grunman
IS-10-02 imaged by MEV-2’s infrared wide-field-of-view camera at a range of 15 m

Biden proposes increased spending for space agency Nasa

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th April 2021 In its budget proposal for the 2022 financial year (FY), the new US administration of President Joe Biden has included some $24.7-billion for the country’s space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa). This would represent an approximately 6.3% increase over the agency’s... 

Biden proposes increased spending for space agency Nasa

EWT, Eskom use drones to deploy bird flight diverters

By: Donna Slater     12th April 2021 A drone-operated system that can deploy bird flight diverters, or so-called “flappers”, has been designed and developed in a partnership between the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT’s) wildlife and energy programme and Eskom. The diverters serve as markers that will improve the visibility of... 

Ultra-sensitive radio images reveal star-forming galaxies in early Universe

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th April 2021 An international team of astronomers has published the most sensitive images of the Universe ever taken at low radio frequencies. The images were taken using the International Low Frequency Array (Lofar). The software needed to do this, specifically that which handles the direction-dependent... 

Science dept to support technology innovations to assist unemployed IKS graduates

By: Yvonne Silaule     6th April 2021 The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has committed to supporting technology innovations to help overcome the challenges facing Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) unemployed graduates. DSI deputy director general of technology innovation Dr Mmboneni Muofhe last week said that despite IKS... 

German physicist determines that starships are indeed possible – at least in theory

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2021 New calculations by a physicist at Germany’s Georg-August University, in Göttingen (more generally known as the University of Göttingen) has indicated that superluminal (faster-then-light) space travel may indeed one day be possible. Theoretical considerations of superluminal travel are based on... 

Stellenbosch researchers make major advance in imaging biochemical processes in cells

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st April 2021 Scientists and engineers at Stellenbosch University have developed a ‘visualisation tool’ that can, in three dimensions (3D) in space, as well as in time, automatically localise and quantify specific processes inside biological cells, such as those that make up the human body. The main focus for... 

Stellenbosch researchers make major advance in imaging biochemical processes in cells
Photo by Rensu Theart
A processed MEL image of mitochondria, with the different events identified by different colours

New NRF CEO appointed

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2021 The Board of the National Research Foundation (NRF) has announced the appointment of a new CEO for the organisation. He is Professor Fulufhelo Nelwamondo and he will take up the post of April 1. The NRF is an independent statutory body mandated to promote and support research by providing... 

Covid-19 hits Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace hard, but diversification helps the group

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has reported its full-year results for last year. The group was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, suffering a loss (including tax) of nearly £3.17-billion. In 2019, it had experienced a loss (including tax) of just over £1.31-billion.... 

South Africa to gain another radio telescope array 

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th March 2021 South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and National Research Foundation (NRF) have authorised R35-million to fund a new radio telescope to be located in the country. Designated the Hydrogen Intensity and Real-time Analysis eXperiment (HIRAX), it will be built at the South... 

South Africa to gain another radio telescope array 
Photo by National Research Foundation
An artist’s impression of the HIRAX array

Science, innovation dept invests R18.9m in nanosatellites

By: Yvonne Silaule     25th March 2021 The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has invested R18.9-million in the development of two nanosatellites that will  be used to improve maritime domain awareness in South Africa. The investment is the first initiative in the country to provide satellite communication services to the... 

Airbus satellites arrive at their launch site

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th March 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced on Wednesday that its first two Pléiades Neo Earth observation satellites had arrived in the French territory of Guiana in South America. There they will be integrated with Vega launch rockets before being launched from the European Space... 

Airbus satellites arrive at their launch site
Photo by Airbus
One of the Pléiades Neo satellites, at an Airbus facility, before transport to Kourou

Scientists develop non-toxic and cheaper compound for infrared semiconductors

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th March 2021 A research team composed of scientists in Japan and the UK has discovered a chemical compound that could be used to produce non-toxic infrared (IR) semiconductors. It would also be cheaper than the compounds currently used to produce such semiconductors. The compound is composed of calcium,... 

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