South Africa"s SumbandilaSat Launched

South Africa’s 26-million Rand SumbandilaSat satellite has been successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by Russian space agency Roscosmos, last Thursday on a Soyuz-2 rocket.

The launch has been delayed twice - the first time due to combination of bad weather and a telemetry glitch and the second time as a result of problems in the fuelling process

The South African observation microsatellite spacecraft , which weighs 81 kg, has been designed and built by specialist microsatellite company SunSpace & Information Systems , which is based in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. SumbandilaSat – sumbandila means “lead the way” in the Venda language – is based around a new satellite platform developed by SunSpace. The microsatellite’s main payload is a 6,25-m multispectral imager – that is, the imager has a resolution of 6,25 m x 6,25 m. This imager was also designed, developed, and made by SunSpace.