Successful Balloon Launch

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Learners constructing the payloads for the balloon launch under supervision from our experts.

Learners in Secunda in Mpumalanga participated in the launch of high altitude weather balloons into space as part of the World Space Week activities on Saturday, 3 October.

This initiative was in partnership with the Secunda Amateur Radio Club (SARL) to create excitement about space explorations amongst high school learners in the area.

The event was held at Secunda Hoërskool where a world record attempt was made to exceed the current world record of 37km. This was, unfortunately not achieved this year, but watch this space next year!

SANSA successfully tracked the payloads and transmitted data back to the participating schools in support of getting our youth familiar with using space data for research purposes.





World Space Week Balloon Launch

learners kick off sessionLRLearners briefing session

Learners in Secunda in Mpumalanga will on Saturday 03 October participate in the launch of high altitude weather balloons into space, in an initiative to stir up excitement about space explorations.


Celebrating World Space Week, this initiative is a partnership between the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the Secunda Amateur Radio Club (SARL) to get high school learners interested in science, space and technology.


The event will be held at Secunda Hoërskool where spectators are expected to arrive as early as 07:00. This year SARL will attempt to break the world record by aiming to exceed the current world record of 37km.

4th Annual celebration of Women in SET


Learners and educators attended the celebratory event


The annual celebration of Women in science, Engineering and Technology took place on 15 August at SANSA. It is an annual event hosted by the CSET (College of Science Engineering and Technology) and UNISA community engagement project called Girl-Power in partnership with SANSA. The event aimed to inspire and motivate young girls to follow a career in Science, Engineering and Technology. 40 learners (grades 9 – 11) from different schools in Attridgeville and Florida attended the event.

The Executive Dean of CSET –UNISA, Prof G Moche and the SANSA MD, Raoul Hodges were in attendance and the event was a great success. The girls left the event motivated and inspired following the talk from Gladys Magagula and presentations by Jonny Rizos and Nomcebo Dludla.

Enduring partnership with French space agency

The ongoing business relationship between the Hartebeesthoek tracking station and the French space agency, Centre Nationale'Etudes Spatiales(CNES)resulted in SANSA signing the largest space mission support contract yet with the French agency since the first contract in the early 1980s with the CSIR.

The initial agreement contract entailed tracking, telemetry and command (TT&C) support, primarily for the first French geostationary telecommunications satellite Telecom-1A, in late 1983 and thereafter for all CNES polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites.



Next generation technology could result in cheaper satellite communication

On 27 February 2015, SANSA will support its first Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) mission. A SEP satellite extends the length and capabilities of the space mission while reducing costs. This in turn, could result in the form of cheaper satellite services such as television and internet data.

SEP is a NASA initiative which involves high power; high-efficiency solar electric propulsion systems requiring much less propellant than a comparable, conventional chemical propulsion system. "Simply put, instead of using fuel, these satellites make use of large solar panels and the sun's energy to boost them in space," says Tiaan Strydom, SANSA's Business Development Manager. "Think of a car. When it runs out of fuel, you have to refuel it or your journey ends. Using SEP means the energy source never runs out and therefore your journey can go on and on and on."


An artist's impression of solar electric propulsion. Image source: 

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