CPUT celebrates successful space launch of nanosatellites

The constellation of satellites will help improve South Africa’s maritime surveillance.

A rocket carrying three nanosatellites built by CPUT students was launched from Cape Canaveral in the United States on 13 January 2022. Picture: @CPUT/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Three locally produced nanosatellites have successfully been launched into space.

The satellites, built by a team of Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), students lifted off from the Cape Canaveral launch site in the US on Thursday afternoon.

This is CPUT’s third satellite mission.

The constellation of satellites will help improve South Africa’s maritime surveillance.

Etnard Louw, CPUT satellite system engineer, said that they’d been working on the project for the past three years.

"The launch was a great success. It's groundbreaking because it's the first time South Afric is launching a constellation of satellites," Louw said.

CPUT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Nhlapo, said that it was a major milestone.

"All of the contributions by students, by principal investigators, we are saying that now for a third time but this was the biggest," Nhlapo said.

Data will be transmitted to the campus' ground station for three months before government scientists take over.