UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


South Africa to launch 'Sumbandila' satellite

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Pretoria, June 6, IRNA -- South Africa's next satellite, 'SumbandilaSat' exported to Russia on June 4, is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on June 10, for launching.

South African Department of Science and Technology announced last night that the launch of 'SumbandilaSat' in Russia is imminent.

On arrival in Russia, it will be shipped to Baikanour on June 17 for integration onto the Soyuz launch vehicle.

Althogh, the date for launching this much-anticipated 'SumbandilaSat' science satellite was earlier set for March 25 by the department, now it is again announced that the launch window will be between July and August 2009.

The 'Sumbandila', a low-orbit satellite which will collect data to be used to monitor and manage disasters such as floods, oil spills and fires within Southern Africa, will be launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

In October 2005, the then minister of science and technology, Mosibudi Mangena, announced that South Africa would be embarking on a three-year, R26 million integrated capacity building and satellite development project.

Mangena said at the time that the 80kg low earth orbit satellite would rotate the earth at a 500km height and provide the country with affordable access to space technology and data.

It will be able to measure temperatures at sea and land, clouds and rainfall, winds, sea level, ice cover, vegetation cover and gases.

The project was carried out in partnership with SunSpace and Information Systems, the University of Stellenbosch and the Satellite Application Center.

The university was responsible for managing the project as well as training the students, while SunSpace was tasked with building the satellite.

The Satellite Application Center will be responsible for operations, telemetry, tracking, control as well as data capturing.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be responsible for its mission control. It will receive the image data from satellite and will be tasked with the monitoring and controlling of the satellite, include maintaining the satellite and programming it to perform its various functions on orbit.

The 'SumbandilaSat' is the second satellite to be launched by government after the launch of the SUNSAT 1, a modest satellite built by students and lecturers at Stellenbosch University in 1999.

Like SUNSAT, the Sumbandila project presented several educational opportunities for pupils at school-level and post graduate students at the Limpopo, Venda, North West, Kwazulu-Natal and Stellenbosch universities.

Its construction was completed at Stellenbosch University and was handed over to the department in November 2006.


End News / IRNA / News Code 529856

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list