Stellenbosch’s Space Legacy

In February 1999, South Africa’s first satellite, Sunsat-1, was launched. This 64kg microsatellite was built by the staff and postgraduate students at the University of Stellenbosch and operated successfully for 2 years. Now, more than 20 years later, Stellenbosch and the surrounding areas has become a Space hub for both local industry and academia. With a long space legacy in the Western Cape of building and launching satellites, there is significant existing infrastructure (spanning spacecraft AIT and ground segment), a large local industry and several Universities with well-established Academic space programmes.

About Stellenbosch 

The Western Cape, and its city Cape Town, boasts a heady mix of mountains, vineyards, and oceans that appeal to millions of visitors annually. 

The beautiful town of Stellenbosch, situated roughly an hour from the city of Cape Town, lies surrounded by the Stellenbosch Mountains in the Jonkershoek River Valley in one of the most picturesque settings in the Cape.  

The second oldest town in South Africa has fondly been called ‘Eikestad’ or city of oaks and its streets are lined with some of the most beautiful surviving examples of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture in the Cape. Dorp Street is a national monument and visitors are encouraged to take the time to walk around this cosy old part of Stellenbosch, with its secluded lanes, water furrows, cosmopolitan restaurants, coffee bistros and superb views of mountain, vineyards, and orchards. 

The name ‘Stellenbosch’ is almost synonymous with the wine industry and has one of the oldest wine routes in the country. The town also boasts a collection of galleries and museums housing national and international art collections worth viewing. For the nature lover there are several excellent hikes in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve and the closest beaches are about 30min away.