The South African National Space Agency

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) in Hermanus leads SANSA’s, Space Science Programme. SANSA forms an integral part of the worldwide network of magnetic observatories and assists in monitoring the near-Earth space environment. Additionally, SANSA also provides vital information on space weather and other applied science services. This includes the monitoring of any disturbances in the ionosphere and space weather activity that may affect electricity grids, satellites, navigation and communication systems. SANSA in Hermanus opens to the public on Wednesdays when they offer fun, interactive, tours of their observatory for “space cadets” of all ages!

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Since as far back as 1841, The University of Cape Town has had a magnetic observatory. The Observatory joined a global network of observatories as part of the International Commission for the Polar Year in 1932. In 1940 when the advent of the electric railway system began interfering with magnetic measurements in Cape Town, the observatory was relocated to Hermanus.

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) was established in 2010 and following a period of rapid growth and transition, has made significant advancements towards deriving greater value from space science and technology for the benefit of the planet.



The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) contributes to global space research through high-impact collaborative research and development. This world-class standard is why South Africa is recognised as a leader in space science and technology. 

The agency is responsible for operating a distributed network of research infrastructure used for monitoring the near-Earth space environment over Southern Africa, the Indian and Atlantic oceans, and Antarctica.

Research areas covered by SANSA in Hermanus are focused on four main programmes:

  • Earth Observation
  • Space Science
  • Space Operations 
  • Space Engineering
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Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

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If you have always dreamed of a career in science, engineering and technology keep a close watch on the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) website. 

Alternately, call SANSA in Hermanus for more information.


SANSA Tours 


“The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) invites you to explore the Universe!”

If you love anything and everything to do with space, this one is for you! SANSA in Hermanus invites you to join them for a fun and highly educational visit. Find out what the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is all about! 

Entry Fee - no charge, mahala, gratis! (although a small donation would be greatly appreciated)

Day - every Wednesday

Time - 11:00

What to Expect:

  • Learn more about the history behind SANSA in Hermanus at the technology lab
  • See actual replicas of real satellites
  • Visit the GPS exhibit
  • Find out about satellite communications
  • Have fun in the space photo booth (the only one in South Africa) where you can visualise your dream of being on the ISS (International Space Station), look fabulous during a ‘rocket launch’ and become part of the beautiful view of Antarctica

Booking is not necessary but advisable for larger groups.

Student Bursaries

Student Bursaries

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) offers various science, engineering and technology study, and bursary, opportunities that include:

  • Postgraduate Student Development
  • Postgraduate Student Bursaries
  • Short Courses

For more information on the above contact SANSA in Hermanus directly.

Outreach and Events

Outreach and Events


SANSA in Hermanus takes outreach and public education seriously, and there is always something exciting happening at the various SANSA facilities around South Africa. 

SANSA roadshows and school trips are popular and encourage learners to follow careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). 

Please contact SANSA in Hermanus for updates on the latest conferences and events.



“What an awesome experience! Having visited SANSA for the first time, and having visited similar sites in the United States, I was apprehensive that I would be disappointed with SANSA Hermanus. I am pleased to report that, after the visit, I am proud to be a South African! The staff were extremely knowledgeable, very courteous and clearly proud of SANSA and South Africa. Thanks to all the Sansa staff! Well done South Africa!Eugene, Google Review
“We are really fortunate to have such informative talks for members of the public.” Colin, Google Review
“SANSA Space Science does fantastic research into space weather, Ionospheric conditions, magnetospheric modelling and more. Host to the only space weather monitoring centre in Africa. Ionosondes, GPS receivers, radar and VLF antennas abound. Massive Helmholtz coil and a very impressive high-temperature SQUID magnetometer. Science Centre for outreach and education, and they often hold public lectures by visiting scientists from around the world.” Ani, Google Review
“Excellent educational centre!” Indhrani, Google Review
“A very interesting place to visit. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and are always ready to answer any question that you may have. Until my visit, I never knew how much the Earths magnetic fields were so affected by the Sun’s radiation and how a little town in the Western Cape could have such a big impact on the rest of the world.” Nigel, Google Review
“Lovely for inquisitive children. Interesting if you are into solar flares and space information.  They calibrate compasses here as well.” Gillian, Google  Review



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