The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) was established in 2010. Following a period of rapid growth and transition the agency has made significant advancements towards addressing its mandate of deriving greater value from space science and technology for the benefit of South African society.

A new IOT antenna has great significance for South Africa

on . Posted in SANSA Space Operations News

On Friday 4 October 2013, SANSA hosted learners, members of the media and other dignitaries at its Hartebeeshoek facilities. This was to kick off the World Space Week events amidst the space fever that has hit our country. This is part of the 14th annual "World Space Week" which runs from 4 October to 10 October, both are key dates in space history.

The Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, on 4 October 1957, while the Outer Space Treaty, which serves as the foundation of international space law, came into effect on 10 October 1967.

Space may seem a distant reality, but we only have to look around us to see the benefits it has brought to our daily lives. Images from space are now commonly used in plenty of sectors such as weather forecast, agriculture (smart farming), urban planning, monitoring de-forestation or supporting crisis management in case of flooding or large forest fires.

Space also creates unique opportunities to boost the economic performance of our continent. For one, it drives innovation. We can transfer technology from the space sector and create smart technologies and smart production. Spin-offs create further commercial uses which contribute to industrial growth.

 (L to R) Dr Sandile Malinga, Dr Phil Mjwara, Dr Woodrow Whitlow and Mr Raoul Hodges inaugurating the new antenna

SA Space Agency Probing Space from Earth

on . Posted in SANSA Space Science News

Just as there is weather on Earth, so too is there weather in space, and it can interfere with and cause damage to satellites which we rely on for communications, navigation, resource management and the safety and security of our country.

Aurora

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) unveiled their new High Frequency Digital Radar at a World Space Week ceremony on 9 October 2013 in Hermanus, Western Cape.The radar system is part of the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), an international network of over 30 radars used to monitor the dynamics of space weather.

As host to the Space Weather Regional Warning Centre for Africa, SANSA provides an important service to the nation by monitoring the Sun and its activity to provide information, early warnings and forecasts on space weather conditions. “The Agency’s new radar not only marks a milestone for national and international space weather research but has also provided a unique platform for developing skills in space science and technology,” said SANSA CEO, Dr Sandile Malinga during the ceremony.

Understanding space weather, a term used to describe the effects the Sun has on Earth and the planets of our solar system, is a global priority. SuperDARN data provides scientists with information regarding the Earth's interaction with the space environment. “Communication and navigation technology, town planning, resource and disaster management are highly dependent on satellites operating in our space environment. Understanding this environment has become vital in order to protect technology in space and on Earth from the devastating effects of space weather” said Dr Lee-Anne McKinnell, SANSA Space Science MD.

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