STELLENBOSH UNIVERSITY ANOUNCES SUCCESS FINALLY
One of the top research universities in South Africa, Stellenbosch University (SU) has launched a nano-satellite into space. The device is currently in orbit and is enroute to the International Space Station (ISS). NAMED ZA-AeroSat, its initial launch was delayed for over a week.
SU originally announced intentions to launch the satellite on the 24th of March, this year. Development of the product was in partnership with nano-satellite control specialist company known as CubeSpace, also based in South Africa. But, the launch was delayed due to a hydraulic issue detected at the launch site. A later date was announced for the 18th of April.
On the 18th of April, the ZA-AeroSat was aboard the NASA-operated Cygnus spacecraft. The Cygnus spacecraft was thrusted from the Earth by an Atlas V-rocket. The Cygnus will dock with the ISS in a few days.
The astronauts at the ISS will offload the ZA-AeroSat nano-satellite from the Cygnus’ contents and launch it in about a month’s time to begin its actual work. The purpose of the satellite is to collect data on the lower thermosphere, between 200km and 400km. This first one, is the first of a series of nano-satellites, called “CubeSats” that will launched into space.