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SPACE LEADERS Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Dr. Val Munsami, Chief Executive Officer at the South African National Space Agency, about a new satellite, trans-national partnerships, and benefiting South African society. The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is a Pretoria-based South African government agency tasked with promoting co-operation in space-related activities, conducting space science research, advancing scientific engineering by developing human capital, and supporting industrial development in space technologies. Though South Africa’s involvement in international space-related activities dates back to the early 1960s, when NASA built Deep Space Station 51 in Gauteng (today the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory) to support unmanned lunar and interplanetary missions, it wasn’t until 2008, when acting-President Kgalema Motlanthe approved 2 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

the South African National Space Agency Act, that all public space-related operations in South Africa were brought together under a single organization. SANSA consists of four key directorates, the first three of which predate the creation of SANSA itself. SANSA Space Operations consists of ground station facilities and services, and provides satellite tracking, telemetry, and command, as well as launch services and support for international clients. SANSA Earth Observation co-ordinates Earth observation data and processes satellite imagery for government partners. SANSA Space Science maintains a base in Antarctica to observe solar terrestrial weather, and

conducts research. Lastly, SANSA Space Engineering is a new directorate within SANSA, and is working on developing space systems and sub-systems, including South Africa’s next satellite, EO-Sat1. DEEP SPACE EO-Sat1 will be a 450kg satellite, with a 2.5 meter resolution. The satellite will offer high-resolution images, allowing SANSA to monitor agricultural and grazing land for food security purposes, with other applications in urban planning, security, water management, and disaster management. “We’re going to have ten multi-spectral bands in there, which is unique for a satellite of this

Sustainable Business Magazine EMEA 04/17  
Sustainable Business Magazine EMEA 04/17  

Sustainable Business Magazine EMEA 04/17