SunSpace was established in 2000 as a spin-off from Stellenbosch University following the successful launch of SUNSAT by NASA with a Delta-II launch vehicle. During the past decade SunSpace has developed and delivered numerous satellite components, subsystems and two flight model satellite, now operational in space. This blog documents the mission of Sumbandila (funded by the DST), launched on a Soyuz-2.1b on 17 September 2009. SunSpace places a high premium on a strong partnership with the South African Government for supplying the ongoing satellite needs of our government.

22 September 2009

17/09/2009 20:48 Our first pass

We are extremely pleased with our baby in space!! Our first pass last night at 20:48 local time was a very low elevation Eastern pass with some mountains obscuring the “view” as well, but the satellite responded beautifully almost immediately after sending the first command from the Stellenbosch ground station!

We received real-time telemetry which suggested that the satellite was already executing an autonomous attitude stabilization maneuver. This was confirmed during the second pass where we also had good communications. This morning the satellite was stable in a sun-Thompson mode.

Celebration on our first Contact with Sumbandila

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Current Keplerian Elements

Last Update: 1 Febr 2010
Element set: 404

1 35870U 09049F   10032.48635300  .00000433  00000-0  21444-4 0  4040
2 35870 097.3525 084.8560 0011505 166.1189 300.7196 15.22856092 20818