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The Stellenbosch UNiversity SATellite or SUNSAT (COSPAR 1999-008C) was the first miniaturized satellite designed and manufactured in South Africa. It was launched aboard a Delta II rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on 23 February 1999 to become the first launched South African satellite. Sunsat was built by post-graduate engineering students at the University of Stellenbosch. Its AMSAT designation was SO-35 (Sunsat Oscar 35).

Last contact by ground control with SUNSAT was on 19 January 2001 and on 1 February 2001 the end of SUNSAT's functional life in orbit was announced. The satellite operated in orbit for nearly 2 years.[1]

It is predicted to reenter the atmosphere after about 30 years from launch.[2]


Pushboom imager


  1. ^ "The End of SUNSAT's Functional Life in Orbit".
  2. ^ 19. How long will SUNSAT stay operational?, SUNSAT(SO-35) FAQ
  3. ^ Peat, Chris (5 December 2013). "SUNSAT - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 6 December 2013.