The South African Space Agency (SANSA) and NASA have signed an agreement to collaborate on technical and environmental research with the potential to support future near-Earth and deep space exploration from a ground station based in South Africa.
According to a statement from SANSA, the study agreement will provide educational opportunities for universities. “Depending on the outcomes of the study agreement, long term projects could be implemented soon between SANSA and NASA,” said Marcus Watkins, Director of the NASA Management Office
“Having worked with the South African government on numerous projects in the past, it is fitting to collaborate with SANSA on this study agreement, not only because of the geographical positioning of South Africa but more so the technical capabilities and the consistent quality of work produced by SANSA Space Operations over the years.”
The South African government have said it will support this agreement and provide opportunities for those in the space industry. This includes those in academia and well as technical and engineering skills.
“Continuous research and development are vital in any industry for it to thrive and at the rate and pace the space industry is developing, it’s appropriate for SANSA to partner with NASA on this study agreement,” said Dr. Valanathan Munsami the Chief Executive Officer of the SANSA.
“Similarly to how South Africa supported NASA’s earliest space probes, leading up to the first moon landing, we are hopeful that our country will be part of future explorations and discoveries.”