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Sat Mar 28 11:23:20 SAST 2015

SA space agency launches

Sapa | 09 December, 2010 16:020 Comments

A new space era has been marked by the launch of the SA National Space Agency (Sansa) and the national space strategy, the science and technology minister said on Thursday.

The primary purpose of the national space programme was using space science and technology for socio-economic development, Naledi Pandor said at the event in Midrand, according to a copy of her speech.

As part of the strategy a suite of satellite-borne and ground-based platforms would be developed for earth observation, navigation and positioning, communications and space science and exploration.

Earth observation would involve using data for agriculture, environmental and resource management, disaster management, rural development and urban planning.

She said initiatives to be rolled out included training a cohort of scientists and engineers and establishing "centres of competence" to focus on the development of technology platforms.

Other approaches would involve making using of "strategic international partnerships" to address weaknesses in the local space sector, and promoting awareness of the space programme to ensure broader public participation.

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