Send-off of Africa’s largest and most advanced cube satellite

ZACube-2 will be launched in July

Last month, we wrote about the countdown to the launch of Africa’s most advanced Cubesat, ZaCUBE-2, a triple unit CubeSat so it is three times the size of its predecessor, which was called TshepisoSat

The 4kg ZaCUBE-2 which was developed by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) is the second nanosatellite to be developed at the University.

The media is invited to the send-off today in Cape Town, and also to view ZACube-2 before it is packed and shipped to India where it will be launched. ZACube-1 was launched in 2013 for space weather research and the experiences gained then through the French-South African cooperation in satellite engineering, have resulted into the completion of ZACube-2. ZACube-2 is a 10 x 10 x 10 x 30 cm satellite which will track marine activity along South Africa’s coast and proactively detect forest fires through an imager payload developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The satellite is the precursor to a satellite constellation expected to be launched by the South African government in the framework of Operation Phakisa. Future satellites will be developed by CPUT and its consortium over the next four years. Minister Kubayi-Ngubane will attend the send-off ceremony and the French Ambassador Christophe Farnaud and CPUT’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Chris Nhlapo will also be in attendance.

The project is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and managed by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). The mission is mandated to contribute to the development and transformation of the national space industry, and hence, serves as a catalyst for national and international collaboration. A number of local partners have contributed to the mission, including the CSIR, Stone Three,University of Stellenbosch, Astrofica, Luvhone Consulting, Spaceteq, Etse Electronics, as well as our international industry partner Clyde Space.

F’SATI is closely associated with the University of Montpellier, the French Embassy and the Paris Chamber of Commerce, through which valuable technology and skills transfer have enriched the CPUT satellite programme. “SANSA strives to grow the local space industry through product, services and skills development. Supporting such programmes as ZACube-2, enables the country to benefit from trained and experienced young space engineeringexperts,” said SANSA CEO, Dr Val Munsami.


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