By | November 7, 2017

Intensifying Aerospace Research in Namibia – Namibia Space Week 2017

FROM LEFT: Dr Alfred van Kent, Permanent Secretary: Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation; and Dr Tjama Tjivikua, NUST Vice-Chancellor.

The Namibia Space Week was inaugurated during the Windhoek Agricultural and Industrial Show. The event brought together stakeholders from the public and private sectors to deliberate on intensifying aerospace research in the country. Organised by the Namibia Institute of Space Technology (NIST), the Space Week focused on two critical themes namely, Nanosatellite Technology and Earth Observation.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has dubbed Nanosatellites as ‘Small Satellites Big Discoveries’ and is aggressively targeting research and innovation in this field. Earth Observation and Remote Sensing applications are numerous, and are used in areas such as natural resource management, disaster monitoring, marine protection and mining, security and tracking, cellphone communication and television broadcast. This shows that Namibia can benefit immensely from the satellite applications. Additionally, Space Science, Technology and Applications as a discipline, has been identified as one of the priority areas in the research implementation plans identified by the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation (MHETI).


“The Ministry is aware of the ongoing collaboration and discussion with AIRBUS regarding the setting up of the Namibian Space Data Centre to monitor our shores and land. The Ministry is supportive of this endeavour in Earth Observation and by monitoring of our land, we intend to protect our environment and natural resources from all illegal activities. The Ministry is pleased to know that there is progress being made towards the Namibia Space Data Centre through collaboration with NIST. We look forward to the day when Namibia would launch a NAMSAT, a nanosatellite with payload, to assist in studying and monitoring our land and ocean,” said Dr Alfred van Kent, the MHETI Permanent Secretary.

“Our leadership in Space Technology will engage the inhabitants of Namibia in how we all can use Space Technology for industrialisation and socio-economic enhancement. Thus the theme for the Namibia Space week was aptly selected to be ‘Namibia: Exploring New World in Space’,“ said Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the NUST Vice-Chancellor.

NUST’s partners in aerospace include, AIRBUS Defence and Space, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, French South African Institute of Technology, University of Namibia, Namibia Scientific Society, and representatives of High Energy Spectroscopic System.