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W Cape could soon be home to deep space ground station

A deep space ground station is a series of satellite dishes that form part of an integrated network designed for seamless communication with deep space mission, the likes of those which would go to the moon or Mars.

FILE: A satellite dish. Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape could soon be hosting a communications centre that would help humanity make its next giant leap into space.

The area around Matjiesfontein has been identified as a possible location for a deep space ground station.

That’s a series of satellite dishes that form part of an integrated network designed for seamless communication with deep space mission, the likes of those which would go to the moon or Mars.

There are similar stations around the world, but only one other one in the southern hemisphere and that's in Australia.

Dr Pieter Kotze from the South African National Space Agency explains why the area close to Matjiesfontein is so ideal.

“It’s in a sort of in a valley which provides excellent shielding from man-made noise and will receive signals from outer space.”

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