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Africa

#SpacewatchGL Op’Ed: Smallsats – The Hitchhiker No More?

The small satellite revolution is in full swing. It is on the menu at every conference. It is on our newsfeeds. It is the talk of the industry. The last couple of years have heralded a true breakthrough for the small satellite as news has poured in of new constellations in development and emerging operators looking to use small satellites to drive innovation and cater for emerging applications. With manufacturing prices tumbling and increasingly sophisticated technology and propulsion systems becoming reality for the smallsat, this is a phenomenon that is surely set for longevity. However, there is one rather large problem looming and that is the shortage of rides into space. Yes, you have a satellite but how do you find a vehicle to get it where it needs to go?

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South Africa’s ZACUBE-2 Cubesat, Built With French Assistance, To Be Shipped to India for Launch

South Africa's Minister for Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, was joined by France's ambassador to South Africa, Christophe Farnaud, at a ceremony held on 17 April 2018 at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) for the send-off the ZACUBE-2 Cubesat to India from where it will be launched later in 2018.

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Earth-i releases its first full-colour video of Earth taken from space by VividX2

Earth-i has released the first video taken by VividX2, the technology prototype for its Vivid-i constellation. Launched on 12 January 2018, VividX2 is the world’s first commercial satellite able to provide full-colour video of life on earth. Weighing 100kg and measuring approximately 1 cubic metre, VividX2 is orbiting at 505km above the Earth and travelling at approximately 7km per second. At the heart of the satellite is an Ultra High Definition (UHD) camera that captures high-resolution images for any location on Earth – and also films up to two minutes of video at a time as it passes over each target location.

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#SpaceWatchGL Op’Ed: Insight – Global Proliferation of Counterspace Capabilities and Space Sustainability

SpaceWatch.Global is a proud partner of the Secure World Foundation, and a greateful recipient of SWF support. The SWF published a new report on 11 April 2018 titled Global Counterspace Capabilities: An Open Source Assessment that provides an exhaustive, comprehensive, incisive, and useful open source guide to global counterspace capabilities and developments, as well as analysis of their implications. Here, the authors of that report, Victoria Samson and Brian Weeden, summarise the study and provide a broader geopolitical context about its importance.

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Rwanda Considers Building Cubesat; Mulls Proposing Regional Satellite Cooperation

Patrick Nyirishema, the Director-General of the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), told a workshop on space regulations in Kigali – the capital city of Rwanda – that the small African country is looking at developing its own small communications satellite, and is also mulling the possibility of proposing a regional satellite with six other East African countries, according to a report by Africanews.space.

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Kenya’s First Satellite in Orbit, But Still No Space Agency

Kenya's first indigenously-built satellite was launched by a SpaceX Falcon-9 space launch vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS) on 2 April 2018 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite, called First Kenya University Nano Satellite-Precursor Flight (1KUNS-PF) was built by a team from the University of Nairobi, with technical assistance from staff from the University of Rome, and co-funded by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) as part of the KiboCUBE programme.

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Nigeria’s NigComSat to Receive $550 Million Investment From China Great Wall Industry Corporation

The Nigeria Communications Ltd. (NigComSat) company, the operator of the NIGCOMSAT-1R communications satellite, is set to receive U.S.$550 million equity investment from the satellite's manufacturer, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), the Nigerian Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu told Nigerian newspaper Punch on 2

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