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Science Engineering Technology

Nasa’s latest Mars rover now on top of its launch rocket

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th July 2020 The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) announced on Thursday that its latest Mars rover, Perseverance, had been attached to the top of the Atlas V launch rocket (produced by the United Launch Alliance) that will carry it into space. The operation actually took place on Tuesday. The... 

Although vaccine trials are generating optimism, concerns about access are rising

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th July 2020 Should all go well with the South African-led vaccine trial or with similar trials in the UK and Brazil, commercial lots of vaccines be developed as early as the first quarter of next year. However, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) clinical infectious disease epidemiologist and... 

Although vaccine trials are generating optimism, concerns about access are rising

Drones being used to help governments fight the Covid-19 pandemic

By: Donna Slater     10th July 2020 With the onset of Covid-19, technology has come to the fore, as people have been forced to work from home or increasingly remotely to ensure physical distancing, thereby increasing reliance on remote, and even autonomous, methods of conducting duties, with keen interest in the potential use of... 

Drones being used to help governments fight the Covid-19 pandemic

Home automation add-on launched

10th July 2020 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand has launched its Arteor-with-Netatmo which is a simple home automation solution that uses traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi. The company explains that it expanded on its Arteor range of wiring devices,... 

Home automation add-on launched
PLUGGED IN Legrand has add to its home automation solutions that use traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi

HealthSpace signs first paid contract with contact tracing solution

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2020 Vancouver-headquartered HealthSpace Data Systems has signed the first paid contract in a package that includes the use of its extensive contact tracing solution. Mecklenburg County Health Department, in North Carolina, will use HealthSpace’s HSCloud Suite for contact tracing in a deal worth $157... 

HealthSpace signs first paid contract with contact tracing solution

New science, tech policy book focuses on transformative policy making

By: Schalk Burger     7th July 2020 A new book authored by a host of international scientists and policy advisors sets out the theories, approaches and lessons for how science, technology and innovation (STI) policy making should be developed to ensure the intended benefits of research, development, innovation, progress and... 

City of Johannesburg invites tech startups to submit Covid-19 mitigation ideas

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 The City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ’s) Smart City Office has invited startup technology companies to submit proposals for smart city innovative solutions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and innovative ideas on how we can go into the future together. “The lockdown protocols have ignited new... 

SA receives additional ventilators from US

By: Sane Dhlamini     7th July 2020 The US government through the US Agency for International Development, has delivered a second shipment of 100 ventilators to South Africa to assist with its national response to the coronavirus pandemic. USAID will also train up to 10 000 critical care nurses and physicians and support supply... 

SA receives additional ventilators from US

Airbus wins new generation satellite order form Australian telecoms group

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th July 2020 Airbus Defence and Space has been awarded an end-to-end turnkey contract for a telecommunications satellite by Australia’s leading satellite operator and number two telecommunications company, Optus. This is Airbus’ first contract from an Australian operator and is the fourth order for Airbus’... 

Regulation of online contracts needed to protect consumers, says SU academic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th July 2020 Almost every time one browses a website, click the “accept” icon or download software, they are concluding an online contract  ̶  a non-negotiated contract such as the terms and conditions regulating the use of websites or the privacy policies of online suppliers. People are rarely required to... 

Insolvent global Internet satellite communications company bought by UK/India partnership

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th July 2020 UK-domiciled but US-based global Internet satellite communications company OneWeb, which became insolvent because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been bought by an international public-private partnership (PPP). OneWeb’s aim is to establish a constellation of, at first, 650... 

Insolvent global Internet satellite communications company bought by UK/India partnership
Photo by OneWeb
An artist’s impression of a OneWeb satellite in orbit.

Moon metals discovery aids development of lunar formation theories

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 Scientists using data from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft have discovered evidence that the Moon might, underneath its surface, be richer in metals (such as iron and titanium) than had previously been believed. Nasa is... 

Moon metals discovery aids development of lunar formation theories

Greater drone deployability in Africa requires regulatory allowances, supply chain integration

By: Donna Slater     3rd July 2020 Drones are being successfully deployed to support medical and humanitarian projects across Africa, but for a greater, more sustainable impact, they will need to be fully integrated into supply chains within an enabling regulatory environment, according to panellists who spoke during a webinar on... 

Structural testing completed for first flight of America’s latest spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has announced that structural testing of its Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission had been successfully concluded. The Orion will carry astronauts deeper into space than any previous human spacecraft. This... 

Structural testing completed for first flight of America’s latest spacecraft
Photo by Nasa
The full stack fo the Orion STA, including adaptors and the jettisonable fairing, in Lockheed Martin’s reverberant acoustic test chamber

All parts of Nasa’s new heavy space rocket are now qualified for flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th June 2020 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) – the US space agency – has  announced that the structural testing campaign for its new Space Launch System (SLS) was completed on June 24. The SLS is Nasa’s new heavy rocket, which will launch into space its upcoming Artemis crewed Moon... 

All parts of Nasa’s new heavy space rocket are now qualified for flight
Photo by Nasa
The moment the SLS liquid oxygen tank failed during its final, destructive, test

Sled dogs are much older than previously thought

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th June 2020 Scientists at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, the University of Greenland and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, Spain, have determined that sled (or sledge) dogs (for example, Huskies, Malamutes and Greenland Sledge Dogs) are much older than previously believed. This was... 

New astronomical discovery raises questions about theory of creation of early black holes

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th June 2020 Astronomers, using three telescopes based in the US State of Hawaii, have discovered the  second-oldest, or second most distant, quasar so far found in the universe. Quasars are the most energetic objects known in the universe and are powered by supermassive black holes in their centres. And the... 

Aeroswift 3D printer project still ‘a key focus’, assures CSIR

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th June 2020 The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has confirmed to Engineering News & Mining Weekly that the Aeroswift additive manufacturing project remains “a key focus” for it. Additive manufacturing is popularly known as three-dimensional (3D) printing. Additive manufacturing involves... 

US research group says quantum computing at least a decade away for most businesses

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th June 2020 US research and data company Lux Research has, in its most recent report, “Preparing for Quantum Computing”, cautioned that quantum computing is still at least a decade away from being a useful, reliable technology for most businesses. While quantum computing promises to be able to solve complex... 

B4SA receives R13m worth of PPE donations from public, private sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd June 2020 In heeding Business for South Africa’s (B4SA’s) call for help, individuals and companies have donated more than 1.4-million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), valued at R13.2-million. B4SA in March launched a national donations drive called “Business Mzansi, we need you” that called... 

Rolls-Royce commits to United Nations’ climate goals for 2030 and 2050

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th June 2020 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has joined the United Nations’ (UN’s) ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, as a consequence of which the company has committed itself to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2030. In its statement, the company... 

CSIR gives assurance that its Aeroswift 3D Printer project is still alive

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2020 The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has confirmed to Engineering News that the Aeroswift additive manufacturing project remains “a key focus” for it. The project was originally established in 2011 in cooperation with the then Aerosud group. The Aeroswift machine, based on the... 

CSIR gives assurance that its Aeroswift 3D Printer project is still alive

US space agency awards major commercial lunar lander contract

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2020 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has awarded a $199.5-million contract to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based space robotics company Astrobotic Technology, to land Nasa’s Viper lunar rover at the Moon’s south pole in late 2023. The Viper will be carried... 

US space agency awards major commercial lunar lander contract
Photo by Astrobotic Technology
An artist’s impression of the Viper lander deploying off the Griffin lander on the Moon

Invicta helps manufacture health equipment in global philanthropist initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th June 2020 JSE-listed hardware company Invicta Holdings has been appointed to help produce bridge ventilators and oxygen helmets, which will be distributed to other African countries in the battle against Covid-19. African and global philanthropists have teamed up to help African nations secure urgently... 

Invicta helps manufacture health equipment in global philanthropist initiative
Virgin Orbit ventilator

Ethiopian company awarded grant to support its anti-Covid-19 UVC Room Steriliser

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2020 Private-sector Ethiopian healthcare research and development company Simbona Africa has been awarded a $15 000 Covid-19 response grant from Kenyan health innovation impact investor Villgro Kenya. This was in support of an UVC Room Steriliser developed by the Ethiopian company. Simbona Africa is... 

Ethiopian company awarded grant to support its anti-Covid-19 UVC Room Steriliser
Photo by Villgro Kenya
The UVC Room Steriliser being demonstrated at Jimma University

Africa still viable for business

By: Tracy Hancock     12th June 2020 It is possible to work in most African countries, provided there is an investor-friendly fiscal regime, the correct asset, a diverse management team and a flexible execution strategy, says mining consultancy Madini’s Andries Cilliers. Madini has supported African mining projects for the past 20... 

Africa still viable for business
Photo by Credit: Alufer Mining
GUINEA-FOCUSED Madini is focused on Guinea, where it has been involved from first drill hole through to production at Alufer Mining’s Bel Air Mining bauxite project

Future trends report points to rapidly changing business environment

By: Donna Slater     11th June 2020 Progressing from Covid-19 will require a realignment of business fundamentals, with increased demand for products and services consumers find meaningful and socially and environmentally responsible, says professional services firm Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation practice Fjord.... 

Local scientists isolate Covid-19 RNA from sewage 

By: Schalk Burger     11th June 2020 A commercial South African laboratory says it has extracted Covid-19 ribonucleic acid (RNA) from various sewage samples in the country as a proof of concept, after the Netherlands research agency KWR entered into an agreement with the South Africa Business Water Chamber in April. It was KWR that... 

CSIR and DBSA sign cooperative framework agreement

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th June 2020 South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) have signed a framework agreement to cooperate to support socioeconomic development in South Africa and Southern Africa through the development of technology and infrastructure.... 

Solidarity Fund prioritises grants to increase Covid-19 testing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th June 2020 The national Solidarity Fund has focused on granting funds for testing, in light of the rapid spread of Covid-19 infections as lockdown measures have eased in South Africa. The fund has supported the National Health Laboratory Service with a grant of R250-million, which will assist in the... 

Huge appoints commercial director

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th June 2020 JSE-listed Huge Group has appointed Stephen Morony as subsidiary Huge Telecom commercial director, effective June 8. Morony, who joins Huge from Cell C, where he headed up the end-to-end management of Cell C’s Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) business, has over 20 years of experience in the... 

Airbus reports on progress by the Solar Orbiter spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2020 Airbus Defence and Space, a division of the giant aerospace group Airbus, reported on June 8 that the Solar Orbiter (SolO) spacecraft is now some 105-million kilometres from Earth, heading for the Sun. (The distance between the Earth and the Sun is nearly 152-million kilometres.) Airbus designed... 

Airbus reports on progress by the Solar Orbiter spacecraft
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of the SolO spacecraft approaching the Sun

Nasa awards key contract for Moon-orbiting Gateway spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2020 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has announced another major step in the implementation of its Artemis crewed deep space exploration programme. It has finalised the design contract for crew module for the Gateway “outpost” that will orbit the Moon.... 

Nasa awards key contract for Moon-orbiting Gateway spacecraft
Photo by Nasa
An artist’s impression of the Lunar Gateway, composed of the Halo and the PPE

Rolls-Royce commits to United Nations’ zero carbon emissions goals for 2030 and 2050

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th June 2020 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has joined the United Nations’ (UN’s) ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, as a consequence of which the company has committed itself to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2030. In its statement, the company... 

Covid-19 hampers Wits platinum recycling laboratory

By: Donna Slater     3rd June 2020 The prevailing Covid-19 pandemic has brought research and innovations into recycling platinum-group metals (PGMs) from disused catalytic converts, led by two University of Witwatersrand (Wits) MSc graduates Collins Saguru and Muofhe Singo, to a near standstill. The duo have ventured into the... 

Covid-19 hampers Wits platinum recycling laboratory
Collins Saguru

Ramaphosa congratulates Musk on success of CrewDragon space flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st June 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on June 1 sent warm congratulations to South African-born engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk on the success of the first crewed commercial space flight in history. Musk is the founder and chief engineer of US enterprise SpaceX. “In the midst of our... 

Ramaphosa congratulates Musk on success of CrewDragon space flight
Photo by Nasa
The CrewDragon space capsule about to dock with the International Space Station, with its nose cone open, revealing docking attachment points and the crew transfer hatch

Astronauts carried into space by commercial spacecraft from SpaceX

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st June 2020 Space history was made on May 30 when two American astronauts (Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley) were carried into space by a commercial spacecraft. This was the Crew Dragon space capsule, launched on a Falcon 9 rocket, the entire system being the product of the SpaceX company, founded by South... 

Astronauts carried into space by commercial spacecraft from SpaceX
Photo by Nasa
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off from KSC on May 30.
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