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Deputy Minister leads a space science outreach programme in Bloemfontein
2014-02-28

The Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Michael Masutha and Mandla Maseko– the first black South African expected to go into space in 2015 – will participate in a Space Science Outreach Programme at the University of the Free State on Saturday 1 March 2014.

The event, taking place at the Bloemfontein Campus, is part of an outreach programme to raise awareness about South Africa’s advances in space science and technology and its benefits to society.

Mr Maseko will share his exciting experiences in the Axe Apollo Space Academy competition, a challenging event that included skydiving, aptitude tests and building and launching a rocket with about 600 learners from the surrounding areas. The 25-year-old from Mabopane near Pretoria will become the first black astronaut when he goes into space on the Lynx Mark II Shuttle, next year.

The outreach event will include activities such as telescope making and rocket launching. Workshops demonstrating the benefits of space science in areas such as earth observations, scientific research and development and human capital development, will also be conducted.

Among others, the open day will feature exhibitions such as the project to build the world’s largest telescope, the Square Kilometre Array and the recent launch into space of the country’s micro-satellite – ZACUBE1 built by post-graduate students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Other exhibitors will include the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO), the Agricultural Research Council, Denel Dynamics, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the South African Weather Services (SAWS).

Officials from the provincial Department of Basic Education are also expected to attend.

Journalists are invited to the outreach

Venue: Economics Building, University of the Free State
Date: Saturday 1 March 2014
Time: 08:00

For more information, contact Veronica Mohapeloa at +27(0)82 882 3818 or +27(0)12 843 6788 or email veronica.mohapeloa@dst.gov.za OR David Mandaha at +27(0)72 126 8910 or david.mandaha@dst.gov.za

 

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