South Africa’s nanosatellite: one year, 250 million kilometres
TshepisoSAT has performed well in its first year of operation
TshepisoSAT, South Africa’s first nanosatellite, has survived one year in space.
This is significant, because according to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) more than 50% of CubeSats fail early in their missions.
“The odds are against you when you launch a nanosatellite, but CPUT got it right, and this is a major achievement,” said Peter Martinez, the chairperson of the South African Council for Space Affairs (SACSA).
TshepisoSAT has survived the sun’s harsh radiation, extreme temperature fluctuations, a few strong solar storms, and two close encounters with defunct Russian satellites.
NASA’s Orion spacecraft will launch Thursday morning, performing an unmanned test flight for the machinery that will eventually bring humans to asteroids, before ultimately transporting them to Mars. While “eventually” has always been sort of a given, NASA has finally announced projected dates.
Rosetta is named after the Rosetta Stone, an incomplete stela of black basalt incised with the same priestly decree in three scripts (Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Egyptian Demotic and Greek) concerning Ptolemy V. The great significance of the Stone is that it provided the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Rosetta Space Mission seeks to see if comet C-G can provide a key to deciphering the origins of the solar system and/or life on Earth.