South African National Space Agency

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South African National Space Agency
SANSA logo.jpg
SANSA Logo
Agency overview
Formed 9 December 2010 (2010-12-09)
Website sansa.org.za

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is South Africa's government agency responsible for the promotion and development of aeronautics and aerospace space research. It fosters cooperation in space-related activities and research in space science, seeks to advance scientific engineering through human capital, as well as the peaceful use of outer space, and supports the creation of an environment conducive to the industrial development of space technologies within the framework of national government.[1]

SANSA was established on 9 December 2009 by the National Space Agency Act.[2]

Currently, SANSA's main focusses include using data obtained from remote sensing through satellites and other projects to provide assessment on flooding, fires, resource management and environmental phenomena in South Africa and the African continent.[citation needed]

History[edit]

SANSA was formed after an act of parliament was passed by acting President Kgalema Motlanthe in 2009. The agency was formed with the intent of consolidating space-related research, projects and research in South Africa and to assume the role as a regional center for space research in Africa.

Throughout the 1950s to 1970s lunar and interplanetary missions conducted by NASA had been supported from a tracking station at Hartebeesthoek where the first images of Mars were received from the Mariner IV spacecraft in the first successful flyby of the planet.[3] Other South African facilities also assisted in tracking satellites to determine the effects of the upper atmosphere on their orbits.[4]

In 1980s work on the development of a launcher and a satellite had been in progress but was discontinued after 1994. In 1999, South Africa launched its first satellite, SUNSAT from Vandenberg Air Force Base.[5] A second satellite, SumbandilaSat, was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in 2009.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ No. 36 of 2008: South African National Space Agency Act, 2008.|ref name="SANSA Act"
  2. ^ ref name="SANSA Act"
  3. ^ "Why a South African national space agency?". Engineering News Online. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Why a South African national space agency?". Engineering News Online. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Why a South African national space agency?". Engineering News Online. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "SA satellite finally lifts off". News24. 18 August 2009. 

External links[edit]