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.

SANSA Engineers off to Antarctica

on . Posted in SANSA Space Science News

SA Agulhas IIEmbarking on a journey to the frozen continent of Antarctica is a once in a life time experience filled with mixed emotions of excitement and anxiety about what lies ahead. Cornelia Oberholzer, Philip Mey, Padraig Riley, Paul McQueen, Nadia Hansa, Claire Antel, and Carson McAfee departed from Cape Town Harbour aboard the S.A. Agulhas II, on 6 December 2012. Cornelia and Philip will be staying at the South African base in Antarctica for 14 months while the remaining members of the SANSA team will be returning in three months’ time. The team will maintain and install new scientific equipment as well as collect data which contributes to space science research nationally and internationally.

The S.A. Agulhas II was recently built to replace the S.A. Agulhas following 33 years in service. The new state of the art vessel has been fitted with eight permanent laboratories and six containerised laboratories to help carry out mobile research.

“This will be the vessels maiden voyage to Antarctica and a true test of her ice breaking capabilities” said Mr Henry Valentine, Director of Southern Oceans and Antarctic Support for the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The KSAT Antenna Inauguration ceremony, a collaboration between SANSA and KSAT

on . Posted in SANSA Space Operations News

KSATThe 4 December marked the official unveiling of the KSAT antenna, a symbol of increasing cooperation between South Africa and Norway, in the Space industry.

Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (KSAT) is a commercial Norwegian company that initiated talks with the then CSIR Satellite Applications Centre, now a directorate of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA); in November 2009 to host an antenna in support of earth observation data. "The unique positioning of SANSA's Space Operations ground station makes it an ideal location to position an antenna for optimum data downloading," explained Rolf Skatteboe, KSAT President. "This, together with the SANSA's world-class facilities made it an easy choice for us."

The project commenced in February 2011 and became fully operational in June 2011. "Since early 2012, more than 1000 earth observation images have been downloaded via the antenna, with an excellent pass rate of 99.2%," adds Tiaan Strydom,International Business Manager at SANSA Space Operations and KSAT Project Manager.

This auspicious event was marked with an overview of the project followed by the breaking of a champagne bottle against the antenna by HE Ambassador Kari Maren Bjørnsgaard from the Norwegian Embassy.

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