Multi-million rand state-of-the-art Space Weather Capability to be launched in Hermanus

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, will launch South Africa’s new 24-hour, state-of-the-art regional Space Weather Centre in Hermanus, Western Cape on Thursday, 3 November 2022.

 

The Department has made huge investments in establishing a world-class space weather capability that will not only benefit South Africa, but the rest of Africa as well.  The Department’s entity, South African Space Agency (SANSA), developed the new centre.  SANSA had been operating a Space Weather Centre for the past 10 years, with limited focus.  It has worked on monitoring the sun and its activity and providing space weather forecasts, warnings, alerts and environmental data on space weather conditions.

 

"The operational capability has been developed over the past three years and, to date, the DSI has invested over R70,89 million for the establishment of the 24/7 space weather capability," said the Minister.

 

Early warnings and forecasts are crucial for protecting satellites, national power grids, communications and navigation systems from the harmful effects of solar storms and other space weather phenomena. 

 

 "Space weather can interfere with satellite electronics, communications and GPS signals, among other things.  With the growing need to monitor space weather and its impact on communities and technology, SANSA joined the membership of the International Space Environment Service and contributed this service as the Regional Warning Centre for space weather in Africa," said the Minister.

 

This development represents the value of science, technology, and innovation in building new applications and technologies in South Africa, and in solving global challenges through the research-to-operations value chain.

 

The media are invited as follows:

Date                Thursday, 3 November 2022

Time:              9:30 – 13:00

Venue:           SANSA Space Science, 1 Hospital Road, Hermanus

 

To RSVP or for enquiries, please contact Veronica Mohapeloa at 083 400 5750 or Thabang Setlhare at 072 659 9690. 

 

Register at the following link: https://allevents.eventsair.com/sansa/rsvp/Site/Register

 

Issued by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

 

Enquiries: Ishmael Mnisi at 066 037 8859.

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