Launch of Space Agency
26 Nov 2010
The Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, will launch the National Space Strategy and the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) on 9 December 2010.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is tasked with leveraging science, technology and innovation to improve the quality of life of South Africans and the competitiveness of the South African economy. Space science and technology is one area through which this aim will be pursued.
To give meaning to the work in this area, the DST developed the National Space Strategy to provide a framework for the coordination of all space related activities in South Africa. The strategy was approved by Cabinet in December 2008 and its key focus areas are Environment and Resource Management, Health, Safety and Security; and Innovation and Economic growth, which have the potential to impact on a wide spectrum of national priorities, including industrial development, natural resource management, poverty reduction and rural development.
The institutional arrangement that was deemed necessary for the implementation of the strategy is a national space agency. Established through an Act of Parliament, the South African National Space Agency will coordinate and integrate national space science and technology programmes; and conduct long-term planning for the implementation of space related activities in South Africa for the benefit of all citizens.
The main objectives of SANSA are to promote the peaceful use of outer space; support the creation of an environment conducive to industrial development in space technologies; foster research in astronomy, Earth observation, communications, navigation and space physics, advance scientific, engineering and technological competencies and capabilities through human capital development and outreach programmes; and foster international co-operation in space related activities.
At the launch event and as part of rolling out the National Space Programme, SANSA intends to sign two agreements. The first is an inter-agency cooperative agreement with the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) on space science and technology. The second is an MoU with the the National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais - INPE) of Brazil and the China Centre for Resources Satellite Data & Application (CRESDA) for the reception and distribution of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS-3) data within South Africa and the SADC region.
The launch is at 09h30 at the Midrand Conference Centre, Gauteng.
Cell: 082 566 0446
Media registration should be forwarded to: Ouma.Ngwagwe@dst.gov.za or Zama.Mthethwa@dst.gov.za.
The deadline for registration is 30 November 2010.
Related Information: Launch of the National Space Strategy and the South African National Space Agency
Issued by: Department of Science and Technology
26 Nov 2010
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