|Launch Date Set for the SumbandilaSat Science Satellite|
The SumbandilaSat Science Satellite is due to be launched on the 25th March from a submarine in Baikonur, Kazakhstan by the South African Department of Science and Technology.
The Satellite will collect data to monitor disasters such as floods, oil spills and fires within Southern Africa.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), responsible for the mission control, will receive the image data from the satellite as well as monitoring, maintaining and programming it to perform various functions in orbit.
The construction of this low orbit satellite was completed at Stellenbosch University. The project was carried out in partnership with SunSpace and Information Systems, the University of Stellenbosch and the Satellite Application Centre.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Mosibudi Mangena, announced in October 2005 that South Africa would embark on a 3 year 26 million rand integrated capacity building and satellite development project. He said: “Satellites assist us in understanding the earth system in order to improve health, safety and welfare, to protect the environment, to reduce disaster losses and to achieve sustainable development”.