Go back

Madiba ‘heard’ from outer space

South Africa's Cape University of Technology has paid special homage to Nelson Mandela by letting its recently launched “baby” satellite reverberate the former president's name through space.

Tshepiso, as the nanosatellite is called, was reprogrammed to transmit “Madiba” as its call sign during South Africa’s official period of mourning last week.

The 10 cubic centimetre satellite transmitted Mandela’s clan name every 30 seconds during its daily cycle of 15 revolutions around the planet. The signal could be picked up by amateur radio towers and cube satellite buffs all over the world.

The nanosatellite was launched in Russia on 21 November. It was seen as a large stride forward for the CPUT and other technical universities on the African continent.

After the successful launch it was entered into the national space asset register and will contribute towards research into space weather phenomena by the country’s national space agency.

Mandela, South Africa’s first democratic president, was laid to rest at his ancestral home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape province of the country after passing away on 5 December.