A site in the Karoo has been earmarked for the construction of a deep space ground station that will assist NASA in future explorations in outer space.
The SA National Space Agency has partnered with NASA for the project.
The station will be built on Matjiesfontein, which was chosen for its clear skies and lack of precipitation, making it ideal for monitoring outer space.
Members of both agencies visited the site last week for a groundbreaking ceremony.
The station will help NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman and person of color on the moon by 2025.
It is one of three stations that will assist NASA in its future trips to the moon and a planned exploration of Mars. Other stations are based in the US and Australia.
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The base will include a three-story high dish and will help monitor and improve coverage in support of NASA’s mission.
Phil Mjwara of the Department of Science and Innovation said, “NASA wouldn’t come to SA if they didn’t feel we have the ability to do the job we want to do.”
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