Sod-turning ceremony for Africa's first deep-space ground station and signing of joint statement by DSI and NASA

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, is pleased to announce the sod-turning ceremony for the first-in-Africa Deep Space Ground Station based in Matjiesfontein, Western Cape.


The project is an initiative of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).  The DSI will fund the initiative and the USA's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is supporting it.


The Matjiesfontein Deep Space Ground Station is an extension of SANSA's space operations aimed at supporting global missions to the moon, Mars and beyond.  


During the ceremony, NASA and the DSI will sign a joint statement confirming their planned collaboration and partnership for deep-space missions going forward.


This ceremony will be addressed by representatives from NASA, SANSA and the DSI.  Officials from represented entities will be available for interviews after the short formal proceedings.


The media are invited as follows:

Date:               8 November 2022
Venue:           Matjiesfontein site, Western Cape
Time:              12:30–15:00


To RSVP, contact Emelia Mosima of SANSA Communication on 081 508 7485 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and Veronica Mohapeloa on 083 400 5750.


Issued by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation.


Enquiries: Ishmael Mnisi at 066 037 8859.


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