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Monday, 02 March 2020

Leading the space race in Africa

AEROSPACE ENGINEERS: CPUT poised to be a host of Pan African University for Space Sciences Institute. AEROSPACE ENGINEERS: CPUT poised to be a host of Pan African University for Space Sciences Institute.

CPUT is primed to be the hub for postgraduate space technology studies on the continent with the establishment of the Pan African University for Space Sciences Institute.

The announcement by the Minister of Finance. Tito Mboweni, that the Western Cape’s largest university would host this important technology node came as no surprise to the university since conversations with a variety of stakeholders including the Departments of Higher Education and Training, Science and Innovation and the South Africa National Space Agency in this regard has been ongoing for a number of years.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Chris Nhlapo welcomed the Mboweni’s statement that work on the university will begin in earnest and says they look forward to hosting the continent’s brightest minds in space technology studies.

“The creation of this university will foster wealth creation on the African continent and increase data sovereignty for the region. The fact that CPUT will be on the forefront of this exciting development is a big win for universities of technologies and reflects the collective hard work, dedication and ambitions of a team who have been working diligently behind the scenes for years.”

CPUT’s Satellite Programme, hosted by the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI), is based on the Bellville campus and is already a leader in the space technology field after its second nano-satellite, ZACube-2, was successfully launched into space and transmits information to the CPUT ground station. The CPUT Satellite Programme has already produced well over 60 postgraduate students to support the space industry and through its vibrant innovation hub, The Africa Space Innovation Centre, CPUT spearheads the commercialisation of nano-satellite technologies. These developments take place on the Bellville campus which is equipped with the cleanroom, production and development areas, state of the art test equipment and a ground station.

The CPUT satellite programme has been boosted by the awarding of an NRF Research Chair in Small Satellite Technology and Applications for Africa, as well as the implementation of a Master's degree in Satellite Systems and Application which is focussed on satellite engineering.

Written by Lauren Kansley

Tel: +27 21 953 8646
Email: kansleyl@cput.ac.za

Liaises with the media and writes press releases about interesting developments at CPUT.