Elon Musk’s SpaceX to Launch 3 South African-Made Nanosatellites: Why This Is Historically Important

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Elon Musk is giving a major hat-tip to his birthplace by launching the first nanosatellite constellation made entirely in South Africa on today’s SpaceX Transporter-3 mission. What Happened According to a report from South Africa’s News24, the three nanosatellites are part of the first Maritime Domain Awareness Satellite constellation (MDASat-1) and will be deployed in low Earth orbit at an altitude of approximately 326 miles. According to the South African Department of Science and Innovation, the nanosatellites will be used to monitor the nation’s coastline. Why It Matters This will be the first time a satellite constellation developed entirely on the African continent will orbit the Earth. Blade Nzimande, South Africa’ minister of higher education, science, and innovation, hailed the launch as a major step forward for his nation’s space industry. “This will further cement South Africa’s position as an African leader in small satellite development and help the country …



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