African space science hits a benchmark with launch of Nanosatellite

In a recent development regarding space sciences in the South African continent, Cape Peninsula University of Technology has launched a third satellite mission into space from the Cape Canaveral rocket launch site situated in Florida, US.

Referred to as MDASat (Marine Domain Awareness), a nanosatellite constellation with three satellites, is reportedly designed to gather data that will ensure the safety and guard the South African marine resources.

As per credible sources, the constellation, each weighing 2.1kg, will monitor and identify foreign vessels and keep a tab on illegal fishing and dumping, inside the country’s exclusive economic zone.  

Reportedly, the main mission revolving around the development of MDASat is to enhance the sovereignty of the ocean and to protect the marine resources of the nation.

Apparently, this mission is followed by the development and launch of the other two nanosatellites, ZACUBE-1, called as TshepisoSat and ZACUBE-2’s.

It has been reported that the development of this satellite is a big achievement for South Africa and tge institution as it is the first satellite wholly designed in Africa.

Although, some other African countries like Morocco, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria have launched satellites into space, those were not completely made in Africa as they involved help from non-African countries and organizations.  

According to sources, the involvement of scientists and countries in space is considered to be essential as it facilitates collaborations and provides advanced technical support to process information.

Reportedly, the satellite MDASat is eligible to do a variety of things like receiving over the air upgrades in which the software can be made and uploaded to the orbiting satellite whenever it is ready. Also, it can gather raw data, improvising the opportunity for diagnostic testing on decoding messages and on signal interference.

It has been speculated that this information permits to keep a track on the health status of the satellite and to guarantee rapid fixation if bugged or suffering from electronic malfunction.

Source credit:- https://theconversation.com/nanosatellite-launch-is-a-big-step-forward-for-african-space-science-175069