|South African National Space Agency (SANSA): from origins into vision|
|(Monday, 25 January 2010) Written by Edward Lodenyo|
| South Africa is looking skyward, preparing to take its space program into higher orbit with the launch of a space agency. Twelve months ago President Kgalema Motlanthe signed legislation to create the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), and nominations for a board were approved in the fall. Its mandate is to promote the peaceful use of space, accelerate the industrial development of space technology, and foster research and international cooperation space science and engineering.
This is no flight of imagination, but rather a measured effort to coordinate and increase the capacity of South Africa’s existing scientific and technical assets and capabilities. South Africa has already engineered its own satellites, it serves as a hub for satellite telemetry, and it is installing world-class astronomical observatories. Within a decade, if SANSA is successful, South Africa could parlay these capabilities into a larger role as a regional powerhouse in Earth observation.
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