Tag Archives: News

WATCH: Africa2Moon Mission featured on CNBC Africa

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Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:27:49 GMT

A team of scientists are raising funds to help inspire youth in Africa to reach for the moon, which forms part of a space exploration mission -the first of its kind for the continent. CNBC Africa’s Benedict Pather compiled this report.

Original: http://www.cnbcafrica.com/video/?bctid=3993108667001

SpaceX CRS5 Mission – the definition of success!

Today the SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched the Dragon re-supply capsule to the International Space Station.

The launch and separation went perfectly but, as though that was not difficult enough, the team at SpaceX took on an awesome extra element to the mission. To land the Falcon 9 Rocket on a barge, “autonomous spaceport drone ship” as the SpaceX CEO Elon Musk calls it, at sea so that it could be re-used. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly this part of the Mission failed.

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No, the rocket did not miss the barge, it in fact hit its target. It landed too hard (Hard Landing) as opposed to the controlled Soft Landing that was being attempted. Hitting the barge is liking hitting a Smartie with a slingshot from a kilometer away. In our opinion that, in itself was a huge success.

Well done SPACEX!

WATCH LIVE: Africa2Moon on Network, SABC News, 14 Dec

Tune into NETWORK on SABC News, DSTV Channel 404, on Sunday 14 December 2014 between 19:30 and 20:00 to see our project administrator, Jonathan Weltman, answering question from presenter Siphumelele Zondi.

You can see previous episodes of Network here: http://www.sabc.co.za/news/f1/4a41d080453abb27af14bfa5ad025b24/Network–20140825

VIDEO: Africa2Moon report from ITN

ITN’s On Demand News (odn) has issued a piece on Africa2Moon.

ITN is one of the world’s leading news and multimedia content companies creating, packaging and distributing news, entertainment, factual and corporate content on multiple platforms to customers around the globe.

The news programming produced for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 reaches around 10 million people every day, providing comprehensive, impartial news provision for the British public. ITN’s news is watched by millions of viewers worldwide, through partnerships with global news outlets such as Reuters, CNN and NBC and online partners such as Livestation, YouTube and MSN.

SKA postgraduate bursary conference grows to 90 students in 2014

SKA SA-supported PhD and MSc students, postdoctoral fellows and senior local and international researchers met in Stellenbosch for the ninth SKA SA postgraduate bursary conference, from 4 to 8 December.

At the first postgraduate bursary conference, which took place in 2006, there were less than 50 delegates in attendance, of who only about 15 were students. In 2014, more than 90 postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows gave talks on their research, and 30 more presented their research on posters.

Postgraduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, supervisors and invited speakers gathered under the trees at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study for the traditional conference group photograph.

Dr Rick Perley, from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in the US, said he had never been to a conference at which more than 100 talks and posters were presented by students. Dr Perley, a radio astronomer of more than 30 years, was inspired by the enthusiasm and energy of the MeerKAT / SKA community in South Africa, and the significant growth in radio astronomy on the African continent, in such a short time.

At the prize-giving event, which acknowledges the best students’ presentations and posters, Dr. Matt Jarvis, from Oxford University, said that he wished his students in the UK could present talks at the same high standard he had seen at the 2014 postgraduate bursary conference. This is a comment repeated every year by the international guests who attend the conference

The number of young scientists and engineers supported by the project’s capacity development programme is testament to the significant investment by the Department of Science and Technology into astronomy, and their recognition that astronomy can contribute to driving the creation of SET capacity and skills required to enhance any knowledge-based economy.

GRANT: IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme

The International Astronautical Federation is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the Emerging Space Leaders (ESL) Grant Programme, dedicated to young people, young professionals, that provides opportunities for students and young professionals to participate in the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC).


The young people selected to take part in the 2015 Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme will participate in the 66th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) taking place in Jerusalem, Israel from 12 – 16 October 2015. The individuals selected will also participate in other activities held the week prior to and during the Congress such as the UN/IAF Workshop and the Space Generation Congress (SGC) and Cross-Cultural Communication and Presentation Workshop.

Up to fourteen students and young professionals will be selected by the IAF to participate in the 2015 programme. Based on an agreement signed in March 2014 between IAF and HE Space Children’s Foundation (HESCF), two of the fourteen students and young professionals will be funded by HESCF.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students and Young Professionals between the ages of 21 and 35 on 1 January 2015 with space-related career interests are encouraged to apply for the programme. Individuals interested in pursuing careers involving the development, application and use of space systems, space science research, the policy, legal, social and cultural aspects of space activities, international cooperation on space programmes and other similar subjects. Persons who – for financial, sponsorship or other reasons – would not otherwise be able to attend the International Astronautical Congress.

Note: Candidates may apply regardless of their home country or current residence. While all applications will be considered, through this programme the IAF seeks to encourage the participation of young people in nations with emerging space capabilities and interests who would otherwise not be able to attend the IAC.

Young people who wish to meet and interact with other colleagues from around the world with similar interests. Individuals who hope to utilise the knowledge and experiences they gain during the IAC in their own careers and in enhancing space and related activities in their home countries.

What does the grant include?

Round trip air fare between the candidate’s home country and Jerusalem, Israel. Support (in kind-services or funding) for local transportation, lodging and meals during the candidate’s stay in Jerusalem, Israel. Assistance with visa arrangements provided by the IAC Local Organising Committee and the Government of Israel. Registration in the 66th International Astronautical Congress as well as the Space Generation Congress or the UN/IAF Workshop, the Cross Cultural Communication and Presentation Workshop and other associated activities. Mentors will provide advice on presentations at the IAC and on activities before and during the IAC to help grant recipients benefit fully from the Congress and related meetings and meet with the grant recipient during the IAC.

Application Deadline: 6 February 2015 15:00 Paris Time / UTC + 1:00

To apply for the 2015 Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme, fill in the application form by clicking on the following link:

For detailed information, application process and requirements please download our “2015 IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme Handbook”.

Please contact eslgrants@iafastro.org if you have any questions.

NASA Names HEOMD Chief Exploration Scientist

Dr. Ben Bussey

The Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate of NASA recently announced Dr. Ben Bussey will be their Chief Exploration Scientist.

I’m pleased this announcement is out and thrilled to welcome Ben to the intersection of human exploration and space science! Congratulations Ben!

– John Connolly Outgoing Chief Exploration Scientist

Ben J. Bussey is a planetary scientist. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary geology at University College London, England. In 2001, during his post-doctorate work at the University of Hawaii, he joined the ANSMET (Antarctic Search for METeorites) expedition to recover meteorites from the Antarctic glaciers. He worked at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston and the European Space Agency, before joining the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and becoming a senior staff scientist at that facility.

Bussey is specialized in the remote sensing of the surfaces of planets. He participated in the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous-Shoemaker (NEAR) mission as a research scholar at Northwestern University, and co-authored an atlas of the Moon based on data and images from the Clementine mission. He has a particular interest in the lunar poles, using the Clementine images to locate crater cold traps for hydrogen deposits and mapping the so-called peaks of eternal light.