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South Africa to launch third satellite next month

Updated: 2013-10-06 06:31
( Xinhua)

CAPE TOWN - South Africa will launch its third satellite into space next month to observe the earth for research purposes, authorities said on Saturday.

The satellite ZA-Cuba will join Sunsat and Sumbandla launched in 2009, according to the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The satellite, designed by students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, will be ready for possible launch in late November, DST Director-General Phil Mjwara said at the World Space Week celebrations in Kimberley, the Free State Province.

"This is a small experimental tube satellite so it's a satellite which usually is built by students in partnership with universities and in this case Cape Peninsula University of Technology has been working on this small experimental satellite which I believe by now will be ready for possible launch in late November," Mjwara said.

The satellite's role is to fund research programs and to expose school children to the world of science, Lorenzo Raynard of the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, said at the same event.

The purpose is to make sure that the public is provided with access to that research information so our involvement here as part of the world space week we are implement partner on behalf of the DST so we have been coordinating activities across the country to celebrate 'World Space Week' this year, Raynard said.

With the previous two satellites, ZA-Cuba is expected to form part of a new African satellite constellation, as part of a government drive to grow the country's share of the global market for small- to medium-sized space systems.

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