Upgraded Sansa Space Weather Warning Centre rededicated

The South African National Space Agency’s (Sansa’s) Space Weather Regional Warning Centre, at Hermanus in the Western Cape, was officially rededicated on Thursday by Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane following its recent upgrade. This is the only Space Weather Regional Warning Centre in Africa. In her address, the Minister noted the important role of space science in supporting economic development, promoting cooperation in research and development and building a knowledge economy, as well as mitigating the effects of adverse space weather events. Space weather refers to conditions on the Sun, the solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere that can influence the performance and reliability of space-based and ground-based technology systems. The main space weather phenomena are solar flares, solar energetic particles (protons, electrons and helium ions) and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). “Extreme space weather storms are a risk that could endanger the economy, costing South Africa billions of rands if not mitigated effectively,” highlighted Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami. “Governments in several countries, including the USA and UK, have recently listed space weather on their National Risk Registers.”