South Africa launches space agency

South Africa's new national space agency will coordinate the country's major space projects, promote space science research, develop related engineering and technological capacity, and devise and implement a national space programme.

South Africa has some of the best space infrastructure in Africa, and is already heading some notable space projects, including Africa's bid to host the Square Kilometre Array, the Southern African Large Telescope, and the SumbandilaSat satellite.

The South African Space Agency (Sansa) will become the umbrella body that coordinates all these projects, while integrating the country's existing science and technology institutions, such as the Satellite Applications Centre run by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research at Hartebeesthoek, west of Pretoria.