WATCH | SA to help NASA on missions to the moon and beyond with ground station in Karoo

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A site in the Karoo has been earmarked for the building of a deep space ground station that will assist NASA with future explorations in outer space.

The SA National Space Agency has teamed up with NASA for the project.

The station will be built in Matjiesfontein, which was chosen for its clear skies and lack of rainfall, making it ideal to monitor outer space. 

Members of both agencies visited the site last week for a breaking ground ceremony.

The station will assist NASA's Artemis programme, which aims to land the first woman and person of colour on the moon by 2025.

It is one of three stations that will be assisting NASA on its future voyages to the moon and a planned exploration to Mars. Other stations are based in the US and Australia. 

READ | Magic and mystery: the incredible never-before-seen images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope

The base will include a three-storey tall dish and will help to monitor and improve coverage for NASA's mission support. 

Phil Mjwara of the Department of Science and Innovation said: "NASA would not come to SA if they didn't feel we had the capacity to do the work we wanted to do." 

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