• Space race

    Space race

    Two South African nanosatellites are set to be launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US on 18 April 2017.

    Designed and manufactured in South Africa, the satellites form part of the EU’s QB50 project, which comprises 28 nanosatellites from 23 countries. The satellites – the nSight 1 (designed by Cape Town-based SCS Space) and ZA-Aerosat (designed by Stellenbosch University’s CubeSpace) – will be deployed into the lower thermosphere (which lies at an altitude of between 200 km and 380 km) over a period of 30 to 60 days, as the International Space Station orbits the Earth.

    According to an IT News Africa report, data collected from the 18-month-long QB50 project will be used in conjunction with current atmospheric models, especially applicable to re-entry trajectories of spacecraft.

    Other project participants include Pinkmatter Solutions, Space Advisory Company, NewSpace Systems, Simera Technology Group, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the Amateur Radio Society.

    ‘We are proud to be a part of an international space project of this magnitude,’ says Hendrik Burger, SCS Space CEO. ‘It affords us the opportunity to test the next generation space camera technology, which was uniquely developed by SCS Space and partners within industry development initiatives of the South African Department of Trade and Industry.’

    18 April 2017
    Image: CubeSpace