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.


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Natural Wonders of South Africa Series – Table Mountain

SPOT6/7 imagery of Table Mountain, Cape Town. The imagery acquired between 25 March and 6 July, 2015 shows the level plateau approximately 3 kilometres from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs.

On 2 December, 2012 Table Mountain was officially inaugurated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world in a ceremony held at the foot of the Mountain in Cape Town. The flat-topped mountain forms a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa and is significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain also forms part of a National Park and is home to an unusually rich biodiversity consisting predominantly of several different types of the unique and rich Cape fynbos.

Image credits: Produced at SANSA Earth Observation. SPOT6: Copyright © 2013 Airbus DS. All rights reserved. SPOT6: Copyright © 2014 Airbus DS. All rights reserved.


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Natural Wonders of South Africa Series - The Richtersveld

Landsat 8 natural colour composite image showing the Richtersveld. Acquired on 19 September 2016, the 753 natural band combination shows 8,000 square kilometres of coastal plain and sandveld, and to the east of that, the true Richtersveld – 3 000 square kilometres of geologically complex desert mountainland.

Lying inland from the coast between the mouth of the Orange River and Port Nolloth, The Richtersveld is characterised by rugged kloofs and high mountains. Scant rainfall, no permanent water source, tiny stone plants found nowhere else, the unusual halfmens, and spring daisies that defy the barren rock and stone are the hallmarks of this barren beauty. Legend has it that the Richtersveld Halfmens (i.e. desert plant with the mystical name Halfmens or “Half Person”) derives its name from the ancestors of the Bushmen who were driven south by warlike tribes from the north. Some turned to look back across the Orange River and were turned into 'halfmens' (half people), forever gazing northwards.

Image credits:

Produced at SANSA Earth Observation. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey.


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