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Science Engineering Technology

European Space Agency awards new satellite project to Airbus

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th June 2022 The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Airbus Defence and Space a €160-million contract to develop the agency’s Far-infrared Outgoing Radiation Understanding and Monitoring (FORUM) satellite. The work will be led and largely undertaken at the Airbus facility in Stevenage in England. The... 

Airbus highlights its key role, through ESA, in Nasa’s Artemis crewed space programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th June 2022 With the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) having declared that the testing programme for the Artemis I Moon mission had been concluded and that its Space Launch System (rocket) and Orion spacecraft would be readied for launch in late August, Europe-based aerospace giant... 

The Orion spacecraft on top of the Space Launch System rocket on the launch pad, with the ESM in the centre of the photo, immediately under the gantry.
Photo by Nasa
The Orion spacecraft on top of the Space Launch System rocket on the launch pad, with the ESM in the centre of the photo, immediately under the gantry.

South Africa is back in contention for the birthplace of humankind

By: Bloomberg     28th June 2022 Fossils of early human ancestors in South Africa may be 1 million years older than previously thought, according to a new study, putting the country back in contention for the place where humankind may have originated. The study of hominin remains from the Australopithecus genus found at the... 

Mitochondria Energy to build a fuel cell manufacturing facility in the Vaal SEZ in 2023

By: Donna Slater     28th June 2022 Hydrogen fuel cell developer Mitochondria Energy is planning to build a hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing facility in the Vaal Special Economic Zone (SEZ) forming part of the wider Hydrogen Valley development concept, with sod turning to start in 2023. In 2018, Mitochondria entered into a... 

An image of hydrogen fuel cells
An artist's impression of five 50 kW Mitochondria Energy fuel cells in a 250 kW generator, and related equipment.

Vodacom’s #CodeLikeAGirl programme trains 4 000

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th June 2022 The number of young girls trained under information and communications technology group Vodacom’s #CodeLikeAGirl programme is expected to reach 4 000 by the end of the financial year. Starting from a base of just 20 girls from schools around Tembisa equipped with coding skills under the programme... 

Nasa has determined that its Artemis I Moon mission should be prepared for launch

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th June 2022 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has announced that the test phase for the Artemis I space mission had been completed. This decision followed the analysis of the data collected during the launch ‘wet dress rehearsal’ conducted at the Kennedy Space Centre in the US State... 

Greater support for, inclusion of women in sciences will accelerate development

By: Schalk Burger     23rd June 2022 Encouraging more women to participate in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) will not only help to reduce underrepresentation in these industries, but will also help to grow the number of people investigating, understanding and solving the challenges societies... 

Nasa and US Department of Energy award contracts to develop lunar nuclear power systems

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2022 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) announced on Tuesday that three proposed design concepts for nuclear fission power on the surface of the Moon had been selected for further development. Nasa was working jointly with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop nuclear... 

A lunar nuclear fission surface power concept
Photo by Nasa
A lunar nuclear fission surface power concept

European Union seeking radioactive power for space missions

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2022 Belgium-based international engineering and consultancy group Tractebel has been selected to head a research and innovation consortium, designated Pulsar, to conduct research into dynamic radioactive power systems (RPS), on behalf of the European Union (EU). The RPS being researched would be... 

An artist’s impression of ESA’s proposed Moon Village
Photo by European Space Agency
An artist’s impression of ESA’s proposed Moon Village

Roche reveals compact molecular diagnostics system 

22nd June 2022 Pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostics technology company Roche has unveiled its new compact molecular diagnostics system, which is geared towards improving access to medical diagnostics capabilities across Africa and elsewhere around the world. Darren Parker tells us more. 

RER image
Roche reveals compact molecular diagnostics system

Joburg to award four smart city challenge winners, applauds quality of solutions

By: Schalk Burger     21st June 2022 The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) would be announcing four winners for its yearly Smart City Innovation Challenge instead of three owing to the quality of solutions received, said CoJ Smart City Office leader Lawrence Boya. Each of the four winners would receive R500 000 and an opportunity to pilot... 

UCT vice-chancellor appointed IARU chair

By: Darren Parker     20th June 2022 University of Cape Town (UCT) vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has been elected as International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) chairperson, marking the first time in the organisation’s history that it has been led by an African. IARU, which was established in 2006, is a... 

SpaceX given conditional environmental clearance to launch its new Starship spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th June 2022 The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given conditional environmental clearance to SpaceX to launch its latest and biggest spacecraft, the Starship, on its latest and biggest rocket, the Super Heavy, from the company’s Starbase test facility, at Boca Chica in the US State of Texas,... 

World Bank approves R7.6bn loan to boost vaccination drive

By: Donna Slater     14th June 2022 Following a request by the South African government for assistance in financing vaccine procurement contracts, the World Bank Group, on June 13, approved a R7.6-billion ($480-million) loan for South Africa’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Project. The project will retroactively finance the... 

An image of a vaccine scientist
The R7.6-billion loan will help accelerate vaccine deployment in South Africa

Technology-driven vibratory equipment manufacturer emerges stronger 

9th June 2022 As South African engineered vibratory equipment manufacturer Kwatani emerges stronger, having overcome the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the technology-driven company is reviewing options of expanding to meet anticipated growth. Natasha Odendaal has the story. 

Real Economy Report Image
Technology-driven vibratory equipment manufacturer emerges stronger

Nasa takes delivery of the main body of its biggest yet planetary probe

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2022 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has reported that the main body of its largest ever planetary space probe, the Europa Clipper, had been delivered to its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in southern California. The main body was assembled by the Johns Hopkins Applied... 

The main body of the Europa Clipper, after its arrival at JPL
Photo by Nasa
The main body of the Europa Clipper, after its arrival at JPL

Bloemfontein observatory now hosting robotic telescope as part of international project

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2022 A robotic telescope has been installed at the University of the Free State’s (UFS’s) Boyden Observatory, situated some 26 km east of the provincial capital of Bloemfontein. The telescope, designated BOOTES 6, is part of an international network, created by an international collaboration which... 

Nasa rolls the Artemis I Moon rocket out again for another dress rehearsal attempt

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th June 2022 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), commenced the roll-out, on its crawler transporter, of the complete Artemis I Moon rocket at about 06h10 South African time (00h10 US Eastern Daylight Time) on Monday, from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch... 

The complete Artemis I rocket, on the crawler transporter, photographed earlier this year
Photo by Nasa
The complete Artemis I rocket, on the crawler transporter, photographed earlier this year

Yet another triumph for South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st June 2022 South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array has again proven its worth with yet another unprecedented discovery: what appears to be an unusually slowly rotating radio-emitting neutron star. The discovery was made, using MeerKAT data, by a research team based at the University of Manchester in... 

Roche reveals compact molecular diagnostics system

By: Darren Parker     31st May 2022 Pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostics technology company Roche has unveiled its new compact molecular diagnostics system, which is geared towards improving access to medical diagnostics capabilities across Africa and elsewhere around the world. The Cobas 5800 is the newest addition to the Roche... 

Roche's Cobas 5800 system
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Roche's Cobas 5800 system

US space agency to re-examine potential of space-based power for use on Earth

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th May 2022 The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) is re-examining the potential for space-based solar power (SBSP), an official of the agency told the International Space Development Conference of the (US) National Space Society, on Friday. The last time Nasa examined the SBSP concept was about... 

European Space Agency concept of an SBSP array
Photo by European Space Agency
European Space Agency concept of an SBSP array

Nasa reports successful landing of new Boeing space capsule after second test flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th May 2022 The Boeing CST-100 Starliner space capsule successfully landed in the western US, early Thursday morning (00h49) South African time. This marked the end of the Starliner’s second uncrewed orbital flight test (OFT-2) mission, and the first such mission to be fully executed as planned. The capsule... 

The Starliner touches down at the White Sands Missile Range in the US State of New Mexico
Photo by Nasa
The Starliner touches down at the White Sands Missile Range in the US State of New Mexico

Top ranked CSIR materials scientist Ray praises research centre team

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2022 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Centre for Nanostructures and Advanced Materials chief researcher and manager Professor Suprakas Sinha Ray has praised the team at the research centre and said the recognition by peer scientists worldwide means they are making an impact in... 

CSIR Centre for Nanostructures and Advanced Materials chief researcher and manager Professor Suprakas Sinha Ray
CSIR Centre for Nanostructures and Advanced Materials chief researcher and manager Professor Suprakas Sinha Ray

Nasa funding the further development of advanced solar sail concept for space propulsion

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th May 2022 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has awarded funding of $2-million, over two years, for the further development of an advanced solar sail concept, to take it towards a demonstration mission. Solar sails use the pressure exerted by the light of the Sun... 

An artist’s impression of diffractive solar sails
Photo by Nasa
An artist’s impression of diffractive solar sails

Boeing competitor for Nasa commercial crew transport successfully docked at space station

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd May 2022 The Boeing CST-100 Starliner capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) at 02h28 South African time on Saturday. Members of the ISS crew opened the Starliner’s hatch at 18h04 South African time, that same day. This marked the conclusion of the first part of the second... 

Boeing’s new space capsule successfully launched on second uncrewed test flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th May 2022 Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner space capsule was successfully launched, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US State of Florida at 00h54 on Friday morning, South African time (18h54 Thursday, US Eastern Daylight... 

The Starliner capsule is successfully launched on its second uncrewed test flight by an Atlas V rocket
Photo by Nasa
The Starliner capsule is successfully launched on its second uncrewed test flight by an Atlas V rocket

City of Johannesburg partners with IITPSA to support ICT and digital skills development

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th May 2022 The City of Johannesburg’s Department of Economic Development has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute for Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) to collaborate on information and communication technology (ICT) sector development and digital skills... 

Nedbank invests in RapidDeploy for rapid response technology for public safety

By: Schalk Burger     18th May 2022 Financial services firm Nedbank has made an equity investment into emergency response technology platform RapidDeploy to deliver life-saving rapid response technology for public safety. The firm notes that investment in such technologies is necessary owing to the antiquated, legacy technology... 

Nasa and Boeing planning second uncrewed test flight of latter’s spacecraft for this week

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2022 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) and giant US aerospace group Boeing hoped to launch the latter’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on its second uncrewed test flight on Thursday. This demonstration flight would see the CST-100 Starliner fly to and dock at the International... 

UP Centre for Future of Work to produce publications, provide advisory services and training

By: Schalk Burger     17th May 2022 The Centre for the Future of Work (CFoW), launched by the University of Pretoria (UP) on May 17, will be Africa’s centre of excellence on the future of work, producing scientific and popular publications, advisory services and training, said CFoW director and UP Faculty of Economic and Management... 

MIC Khulisani Ventures concludes first allocation with tech companies

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th May 2022 The Mineworkers Investment Company’s (MIC’s) Khulisani Ventures has concluded its first allocation of R43.5-million to technology companies Kelo and Rentoza. In July 2021, MIC launched MIC Khulisani Ventures, a R150-million early-stage investment vehicle targeting black-owned innovative,... 

Developing countries have opportunity to call for greater access to nuclear energy, technology

By: Schalk Burger     17th May 2022 States that do not have nuclear weapons, which include most developing countries, have an opportunity to demand greater access to nuclear sciences and technologies for peaceful purposes, including for energy, industry and medicine, at the tenth review conference of the Treaty on the... 

The Koeberg nuclear power station
Photo by Creamer Media
The Koeberg nuclear power station

Black hole at centre of the Milky Way successfully imaged

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th May 2022 The international scientific collaboration known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has published the first ever images of the black hole, designated Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), which sits at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. In 2019, the EHT collaboration, which is composed of more than... 

The Sagittarius A* black hole at the centre of our own galaxy
Photo by Event Horizon Telescope
The Sagittarius A* black hole at the centre of our own galaxy

Forge Academy to host healthcare technology hackathon

By: Schalk Burger     13th May 2022 Digital technologies education company Forge Academy will host a healthcare technology hackathon to conceptualise how health professionals can better use robotics in the healthcare sector. The event will be held at the Forge Academy & Labs building at the Gantry, in Fourways, on May 17. 

Necsa starts process to replace venerable Safari-1 reactor

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th May 2022 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has, with the approval of Cabinet, started the process that should result in it acquiring a new nuclear research reactor, to replace its current Safari-1 research reactor. The new reactor, dubbed the multipurpose reactor (MPR), would, like... 

Magazine cover

inq. expands footprint into South Africa with the acquisition of Syrex

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th May 2022 Pan-African digital services provider and Convergence Partner company inq. is acquiring hyperconverged cloud technology solutions provider Syrex for an undisclosed amount. The deal, which remains subject to Competition Commission and Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa)... 

Aveva aiming to drive sustainability by helping industries digitally transform

By: Schalk Burger     9th May 2022 Industrial software multinational Aveva sees its role as key to driving the responsible use of world resources and it want to help clients ensure they are able to run complex industrial assets in the most efficient and effective ways, Aveva Europe, Middle East and Africa senior VP Evgeny Fedotov... 

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