What is a CubeSat?
The CubeSat Project is an international collaboration of over 40 universities, high schools, and private firms developing picosatellites containing scientific, private, and government payloads. A CubeSat is a 10 cm cube with a mass of up to 1.33 kg. Developers benefit from the sharing of information within the community. Resources are available by communicating directly with other developers and attending CubeSat workshops.
Why a CubeSat in SA?
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) conducted a space industry capacity survey in 2007. The study revealed that South Africa has a huge space heritage dating as far back as in the early 1950s. South Africa started its space activities by supporting launch activities and receiving satellite data for satellite owned by foreign countries. The study conducted by the DST also revealed a huge shortage of space-related skills. The shortage of engineers and professionals in the space industry was mainly caused by the lack of a clear space programme. The study came to a conclusion that the South African space heritage and skills would be lost if not utilised in the next 5 to10 years. This study put pressure on Government to sharpen its space industry goals. The South African National Space Agency Act, 36 of 2008, mandated the establishment of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). [http://www.sansa.org].
Room 0103, Gencor Building, Department of Electrical Engineering, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Symphony Way, BELLVILLE, 7535, South Africa.
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