SOUTH AFRICA LAUNCH A 24-HOUR REGIONAL SPACE CENTER.

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On November 3rd, 2022, South Africa launched a new 24 hours state of the art regional space center in Hermanus Western Cape. 

 

The International Civil Aviation Organization selected the country’s national space agency as one of the two regional centers to provide space weather services, including solar storms, forecasts and warnings to the global aviation sector.

 

Blade Nzimande, the minister of higher education, science and innovation said at the launch that it was a historic development that further illustrated the excellence they have in science in South Africa. He said “it is yet another demonstration that the DSI, together with its agencies, continues to respond to the socio-economic challenges of our country by using science, technology and innovation as a catalyst and catalyser for economic development”.

 

The department’s entity, South African National Space Agency, developed the new center. The establishment (SANSA) which was completed in September, 2022 took three years to build.

 

 The space weather center will benefit the whole of Africa; it provides an important service to the nation by monitoring the sun and its activities and by providing space weather forecasts, warnings, alerts and environmental data on space weather conditions.

 

The minister said that the department now has managed to improve the coordination of the South Africa space arena to maximize the benefits of the current and planned space activities.

 

During the floods of Kwazulu Natal, the agency provided satellite imagery to the National Disaster Management Center and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to support the disaster response and understand the level of the damage. 

 

This is part of the strategy to position science, technology and innovation at the center of the country’s developmental agenda.

 

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