SA’s first CubeSat has launch date set
November 19, 2013 Editor 0
South Africa’s first CubeSat, ZACube-1, is scheduled for launch from Russia’s Yasny launch base on a RS-20B Dnepr rocket at 09:10 South African time on November 21, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) announced on Tuesday evening. Yasny is located in Russia’s Orenburg oblast (province).
“The launch of CubeSat is proof of the skills and the facilities we are gradually developing in the country to ensure space science and technology benefits every citizen of South Africa,” affirmed Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom. ZACube-1 has been funded by the DST and developed by the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
The tiny spacecraft measures 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm and has a mass of 1.2 kg. Despite its minute size, it has a serious scientific mission – it is fitted with a high frequency radio beacon that will be used by the South African National Space Agency’s (Sansa’s) Space Science Directorate to analyse the propagation of radio waves through the ionosphere. This will form part of the directorate’s research into space weather.
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