South Africa’s involvement in Space

On 7 April 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight.  Its aim is “to celebrate each year at the international level the beginning of the space era for mankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being of States and peoples, as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.

South Africa’s involvement in space goes back to the 1950s, when satellites were tracked to determine the effects of the upper atmosphere on their orbits.  During the 1980s and 1990s, South Africa started a space programme to develop an Earth observation satellite known as Greensat. South Africa currently has a microsatellite project called Sumbandilasat.

South Africa’s strategy for space is set out in its National Space Strategy.  South Africa’s space strategies and plans are driven by the South African National Space Agency (“SANSA”).