Space programme gets social


SANSA is aiming to register 2 030 participants for the consultative process for the development of the National Space Plan by the end of February.

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is calling on South Africans to participate in developing a National Space Programme (NSP) “that will make SA a leading space player by 2030”.

Using social networking platforms, Facebook and Twitter, SANSA is hoping to engage the public and register 2 030 participants in the consultative process for the NSP by the end of February.
“The process, which began early November, has arisen from the National Space Strategy and the Ten-Year Innovation Plan for SA as drawn up by the Department of Science and Technology,” says SANSA.

SANSA CEO Dr Sandile Malinga says: “The National Space Programme is important for SA to position this country among the leading nations in the innovative utilisation of space science and technology, to enhance economic growth and sustainable development, and thus improve the quality of life for all.”

SANSA says the consultative process is being led by four expert groups, namely: Earth Observation, Space Operations, Space Science and Space Engineering.
“These groups, which consist of South African and some international experts, have begun setting priority areas and outlining how each group can contribute meaningfully to the formulation of the NSP,” says SANSA.

The latest figures show that more than 160 participants have registered so far. According to SANSA, a shared Web site is being utilised for the consultative process and the number of participants is “growing daily”.

SANSA says once the expert groups have approved proposed projects, the public and other stakeholders will be engaged for further comment early this year.

The NSP is new to the social networking space, having only joined Twitter and Facebook earlier this month. The NSP’s Twitter account, @NSP_SA, currently only has 10 followers, while the National Space Programme on Facebook is on 16 fans.

To register to participate in the development of the NSP, visit the SANSA Web site.