SANSA to bid for 2018 Space Operations Conference in SA

May 2nd, 2014, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: EngineerIT

by Hans van de Groenendaal, features editor, EngineerIT

SANSA will make a bid to host the 2018 international SpaceOps conference at the event to be held from 5 – 9 May 2014  in Pasadena, USA.

Every two years, the worlds’ major space-fareing nations get together to discuss the latest operations technology, trends and best practices used in the field. The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has announced that it will use this opportunity to bid for the event to be held in South Africa in 2018.

SpaceOps is the platform used by industry players and decision makers to foster managerial and technical interchange on all aspects of space mission operations. SANSA has invested in key upgrades to the facility and will introduce the dedicated  in orbit test facility to the market at this year’s conference.

SANSA Space Operations at Hartbeesthoek

SANSA Space Operations at Hartebeesthoek

After successfully hosting a stand as a first-time exhibitor in Stockholm, Sweden in 2012, SANSA became a member-at-large of the International Committee on Technical Interchange for Space Mission Operations and Ground Data Systems (SpaceOps). “As a member of the SpaceOps committee, SANSA contributed significantly to the discussions on the development and application of space science and technology globally,” said Raoul Hodges, MD at SANSA Space Operations. SANSA’s executive membership status should be announced at the next EXCO meeting. “Being recognised as an executive member raises our status and allows us to sit on the bidding committee,” Hodges adds.

In support of this year’s theme, Explore Innovation, specialists will address topics such as advanced ground segment technologies, launch vehicle operations, space communications, debris/collision avoidance, payload monitoring and control; and deep space.“We will host a modern 6m x 3m stand displaying 3D images, showcasing our capabilities as a space agency and emphasising our expertise,” said Hodges

Stationed at Hartebeesthoek, in the Magaliesberg mountain range on the outskirts of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site in Gauteng,   SANSA’s ground station specialises in all aspects of space mission control, satellite operations, ground segment construction and hosting. The directorate manages and maintains more than 22 antennas, provides state-of-the-art ground station facilities and services including satellite tracking, telemetry and command as well as launch support, in-orbit testing and space navigation.

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