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New Satellite Will Create Opportunities for South Africans - Mangena
October 4, 2005

BuaNews (Tshwane)

October 4, 2005
Posted to the web October 4, 2005

Clive Ndou

The soon-to- be launched Satellite Development project will not only enhance the lives of South Africans, but will also entrench the country's role as a leader in space technology , minister of science and technology, Mosibudi Mangena said.

Mr Mangena told journalists yesterday that South Africans would reap massive benefits from the R26 million project.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that space assets are critical enablers for societies instead of being a matter of just prestige. In terms of South African needs, this Low Earth Observation (LEO) satellite will serve as a research vehicle that can support among other things, disaster management, health and water resources management," he said.

The project, which is a joint venture between the Department of Science and Technology, the University of Stellenbosch, SunSpace& Information Systems and the Satellite Application Center ( SAC), will take three years to complete.

The University of Stellenbosch, which will be responsible for managing the project has subcontracted SunSpace to build the Satellite, and SAC for Satellite tracking and monitoring operations.

Mr Mangena said the project would offer University students exposure to the real world of science.

"The research component of the project entails the provisioning of postgraduate education at a masters and Doctoral level in satellite related engineering, software engineering, geography remote sensing, over a period of three to four years," he said.
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The project, Mr Mangena said, formed an integral part of the Department's activities on a global programme called Group on Earth Observation (GEO).

He said his department had committed itself to working closely with other departments to support the development of a vibrant space industry in South Africa.


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