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UK and South African Space Agencies to Increase Collaboration

By Veronica Magan | July 27, 2015
      View of Cape Town, South Africa from Table Mountain.

      View of Cape Town, South Africa from Table Mountain. Photo: Andres de Wet / Wikimedia Commons.

      [Via Satellite 07-27-2015] The U.K. Space Agency and the South African Space Agency (SANSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see them increase collaboration and review areas of common interest in their space programs.

      The MoU will see the agencies stepping up the interchange of information, technology and personnel. It covers a range of areas where both agencies would benefit from collaboration, including research opportunities around space weather, information sharing in the use of space for applications related to climate change, and satellite data sharing. Other MoU actions include identifying opportunities for SANSA to collaborate with local and U.K.-based commercial space industry and the U.K. sharing infrastructure and systems knowledge.

      Increased collaboration between the agencies will also help foster more space projects, like SBAS Africa, which have the potential to deliver huge social benefits. SBAS Africa, a U.K.-South African collaboration, funded through the U.K. Space Agency’s International Partnerships Space Program, will help to improve aviation safety by setting up and demonstrating new satellite-based flight systems.

      “South Africa, and in particular SANSA, are key partners for the U.K., with a range of new activities linking the U.K. and South African space industry partners under the U.K.’s International Partnership Space Program,” said Mark Walport, the U.K. government chief scientific adviser.