South Africa plans to launch Earth observation satellite in 2019

South Africa will launch an Earth observation satellite in 2019, as the head of the South African National Space Agency Sansa, Sandile Malinge, announced to a newspaper.

In doing so, South Africa would like to have their own data readily available instead of relying on international satellites. According to the newspaper Mail & Guardian, Sansa buys Spot-6 and Spot-7 data – used by entities such as the departments of human settlements, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and Statistics South Africa – for about R35 million a year - that is almost 3 million USD.

The new satellite, EO-Sat1, will be part of the African Resource Management Constellation, a network of African nations that plan on launching a common Earth observation satellite system. South Africa committed to contributing at least one satellite to the constellation in 2009.