The much-anticipated launch was carried out by American private aerospace company Space X.
Aboard the Falcon 9 Rocket which launched from Cape Canaveral in the USA at 17:25 Thursday, is the Marine Domain Awareness (MDASat) constellation made up of the three locally produced nanosatellites.
Developed by CPUT, the MDASat will be an operational constellation of nine cube satellites.
The satellites will serve to support the South African maritime domain awareness by detecting, monitoring and identifying sea vessels that enter and exit South African shores in real-time.
The launch comes three years after the launch of the ZACube-2 which was also developed by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) as a technology demonstrator for the MDASat constellation.
The project, which began in 2018, is sponsored by the Department of Science and Innovation which invested R27 million over three years to develop the MDASat constellation.
The first satellite, which was launched in 2013, is approaching 450 kilometres above the earth. It is expected to burn out in space within the next five to ten years.
The project’s Acting Chief Engineer Nyameko Royi, says that getting a satellite launch approved takes a lot of paperwork
First, you have to apply via the International Telecommunication Union... then there's also Icasa [Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.
If you are interested in watching the launch you can Click here.