Did you know that South Africa has a space programme? Africa’s first nanosatellite was launched on 21 November 2013 from a small town in Russia. A nanosatellite is a very small satellite, only 10 x 10 x 10 cm, and this one was developed
by the electrical engineering department at CPUT. ZACUBE-1 will orbit the earth 15 times a day, from pole to pole and measure space weather. Very few people will witness the actual launch.
To commemorate this historic event and to celebrate the power of innovative thinking, Liza Grobler conceptualised
an artwork which united artists, engineers and scientists and brought the CPUT space programme to the attention
of local youth.
On Saturday 30 November 2013 artists and engineers partook in a honorary procession. The participants – dressed in white lab suits with red weather balloons hovering overhead, carried a 3-d replica of the satellite to a large open field in Khayelitsha. The event symbolises the integral role satellites play in daily life on earth in the 21st century: Space and earth is connected.
Participants included: Robert van Zyl (director of the CPUT Space programme), Liza Grobler, Kilmany-Jo Liversage, Sonya Rademeyer, Swain Hoogervorst, Martin Lund, Marna Hattingh, Mandisa Masina, Vanessa Berlein, Stephan Berlein, Pierre Fouché, Werner Ungerer, Lynette Bester, Nolubabalu Khanku, Zukiswa Matanya, Sibongile Skiet, Nolufefe Kanti, Namhla Mbasa, Miranda Vinjwa, Seth Harper, Adrienne Van Eeden-Wharton, Katherine Bull and Stephen Cupido.
‘The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is proud to be a part of this august scientific journey of discovery and look forward in anticipation for the results borne forth from the passion, dedication and expertise of our local scientists, researchers, engineers and students. This may be a small step for South Africa, but it is certain to inspire a large transformation of our space technologies and education.’ – Dr Sandile Malinga, CEO of the South African National Space Agency. This message will be carried into space by ZACUBE-1.