Africa's largest and most advanced smallsat is ready for launch, according to South African space authorities.
The announcement was made by South African Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, who took part in a ceremony at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town to ship the satellite to India for launch in July.
The 4 kg. satellite, known as ZACube-2, was developed by the CPUT in cooperation with the French South African Institute of Technology. The satellite will track boats along South Africa's coasts and detect forest fires through an imager payload developed by the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The satellite is the precursor to future smallsats that are expected to constitute the next satellite constellation to be launched by the South African government within the framework of their ocean economy blueprint, known as Operation Phakisa. Funded by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), the project is managed by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) in close cooperation with the French University of Montpellier, the French Embassy to South Africa and the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
Supporting such programs as ZACube-2 enable the country to benefit from trained and experienced young space engineering experts, said Munsami.
ZACUBE-2 is the second nanosatellite developed by South Africa. ZACUBE-1, the predecessor of ZACUBE-2, was launched in 2013 for space weather research. The experiences gained then through the French-South African cooperation in satellite engineering have resulted in the completion of ZACUBE-2.
Article source: Xinhua