For the past fifty years South Africa has played an important role in the ‘Space Race’ and has now come into its own with its own Space Agency. In 2008, the South African cabinet approved the establishment of a South African Space Agency to act as an institutional vehicle for the coordination and implementation of national space science and technology programmes.
The application of space technology is becoming an increasingly important element in South African policies, including transport, agriculture, environment, safety and security.
South Africa has accumulated most of the essential elements to support a national space programme. There is consolidation in infrastructure and human capital requirements so that the country can develop a comprehensive set of space capabilities to meet its needs.
However, the South African space arena is much broader than activities linked to government.The time has come to establish a non-governmental forum to engage with government on a wide range of space science and technology issues.
The South African Space Association acts as a platform to engage industry, academia, the professions and civil society at large with various space science and technology issues.