ZACube-2, South Africa’s most advanced nanosatellite to date, is scheduled for launch into space on 27 December, with the Russian Soyuz Kanopus mission from Siberia, Russia.
Nanosatellite is a generalized term for satellites weighing anywhere between 1 to 10 kilogrammes. It covers Cubesats, PocketQUbes, Tubesats, Suncubes.
The ZACube-2 nanosatellite will be launched together with other small satellites from the United States, Japan, Spain, and Germany and will be orbited as a secondary payload in a launch mission designed for real-time monitoring of natural and manmade disasters and other emergencies.
ZACUBE-2, is touted to be the most advanced on the continent yet, and will provide cutting-edge remote sensing and communication services to South Africa and the region.
Weighing just 4kg, the ZACube-2 is South Africa’s second nanosatellite to be launched into space and three times the size of its predecessor, TshepisoSat. It is regarded as the continent’s most advanced cube satellite and is, in fact, a precursor to the MDASat – a constellation of nine nanosatellites that will be developed to provide cutting-edge very high-frequency data exchange communication systems to the maritime industry.