South Africa and France announce the launch of Africa’s most advanced cubesat to date
Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will participate in the send-off of Africa’s largest and most advanced cube satellite to India from where it will be launched.
The 4kg ZACUBE-2 has been developed by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) and is the second nanosatellite to be developed at the university.
The media is invited to the sendoff in Cape Town on 17 April, and also view the ZACUBE 2.
ZACUBE-1 was launched in 2013 for space weather research and the experiences gained then through the French-South African cooperation in satellite engineering, have resulted into the completion of ZACUBE-2.
The 10 x 10 x 10 x 30 cm satellite will track boats along South Africa’s coasts and proactively detect forest fires through an imager payload developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The satellite is the precursor to future nanosatellites expected to constitute the next satellite constellation to be launched by the South African government in the framework of Operation Phakisa blue economy programme, developed by CPUT and its consortium over the next four years.
Minister Kubayi-Ngubane will attend the ceremony to send off the satellite and its shipping to India from where it is expected to be launched in July. Ambassador of France to South Africa, Christophe Farnaud, will also attend.
The project is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and managed by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) in close cooperation with the University of Montpellier, the French Embassy and the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
SANSA strives to grow the local space industry through product, services and skills development. Supporting such programmes as ZACube-2, enables the country to benefit from trained and experienced young space engineering experts, said SANSA CEO, Dr Val Munsami.
Source: Government of South Africa