South African Space Industry Inspires Western Cape’s Developing Communities with Former NASA Astronaut

NewSpace Systems, CubeSpace, Simera Sense, CubeCom, and the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) joined forces to host Space Day 2023, a STEM outreach event held at Stellenbosch University on May 19th.

As per the event synopsis provided by NewSpace Systems, the event brought together approximately 300 learners from the Western Cape area, providing them with a unique opportunity to connect with accomplished role models in STEM fields and gain invaluable insights into pursuing a career in space.

The highlight of Space Day 2023 was an inspiring STEM talk delivered by former NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott, who shared her experiences and profound insights on what it takes to become an astronaut and thrive in the space industry. Esteemed industry speakers then offered perspectives from the technical, engineering, and business fields, enriching the learners’ knowledge and understanding of the industry.

Furthermore, the learners had the privilege to interact with representatives from Stellenbosch University, who provided expert guidance on pursuing STEM fields and outlined the various career paths available within the space industry.

“We are thrilled to bring together such a diverse group of learners and industry leaders for Space Day 2023,” said Mr James Barrington-Brown, Founder of NewSpace Systems and one of the event’s main sponsors. “We aim to inspire and motivate the next generation of space explorers and innovators through this exciting event.”

Source: NewSpace Systems

Former NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott was in South Africa as part of the Living Maths space week tour.

South Africa has a rich and evolving space heritage that showcases its commitment to scientific exploration and technological advancement. The country’s space journey began in the 1950s with the establishment of the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, which played a vital role in global space communication. 

Over the years, South Africa’s space capabilities expanded with the introduction of commercial space companies, spin-out companies from the Universities, and the development of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), fostering research, development, and international collaboration. 

Notably, South Africa made significant contributions to astronomy by constructing the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. Furthermore, the country’s MeerKAT radio telescope, an integral part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, promises to revolutionise radio astronomy. South Africa’s space heritage reflects its dedication to scientific exploration and positions the nation as a critical player in global space endeavours.

About NewSpace Systems

NewSpace Systems is a leading manufacturer and exporter of ADCS satellite components and subsystems; and is making significant contributions to the international space industry by supporting the majority of the global spacecraft manufacturers, including several blue-chip companies and constellations of 500 satellites and more. 

About CubeSpace 

CubeSpace is an aerospace company that specialises in Attitude Determination and Control Systems. We offer modular, low-power ADCS components with class-leading performance; and have delivered more than 2200 ADCS components to 240 small satellites for 140 global clients.

About Simera Sense

Simera Sense is a South African-based company at the forefront of providing cutting-edge hyperspectral imaging technology for various applications, including environmental monitoring and precision agriculture.


CUBECOM is a South African space tech company that produces reliable high-speed communication systems for data-intensive satellite missions. The company’s innovative technology is helping to make data transmission in space communication more accessible, affordable and adaptable. 


SANSA is the national space agency responsible for coordinating and promoting space science and technology in South Africa. The agency is pivotal in advancing the country’s space capabilities and creating new opportunities within the space industry.

For media inquiries and further information, please contact Ané Kotze, marketing lead at NewSpace Systems.