International Space Station eyes African Continent

A South African satellite company just acquired the rights to distribute high-resolution satellite imagery of the African continent from the first publicly accessible high-definition cameras installed on the International Space Station.

Cape Town-based Space Commercial Services Aerospace Group (SCS AG), Africa’s leading private satellite company, has acquired the imagery distribution rights for sub-Saharan Africa from Urthecast, the Canadian Vancouver-based satellite operator. Under the agreement SCS AG provides imagery products from two cameras on board the International Space Station (ISS) as well as from two Deimos satellites operated by Urthecast.

These high resolution satellite images and video footage find a wide range of applications within the private sector and government agencies in the arena of agriculture, environmental protection, infrastructrue monitoring and security.

“We are very proud of this new partnership with UrtheCast and excited to bring their advanced suite of systems that offer access to Very High-Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, HD Video and Broad Area Coverage from its fleet of space-based sensors,” said Dr. Sias Mostert, CEO of SCS AG.

Mr. Wade Larson, Chief Executive Officer of UrtheCast, commented “We are  extremely excited about this partnership, which provides immediate access to data to assist in improving the quality of life for people across the continent. More specifically, the information extracted from our data could be used to enhance service delivery in urban and rural areas and contribute to the economic security of Africa.”

Space Commercial Services Global Information (SCSGi), a subidiary of SCS AG which specializes in imagery and geospatial information solutions, will be the Master Distributor for the African continent imagery.

Mr. Retief Gerber, Chief Executive Officer of SCSGi, commented: “We are looking forward to utilizing the data to support a wide range of applications such as crop assessments, forestry management, environmental protection, insurance risk assessments, infrastructure monitoring, urban and rural development, border control and maritime security. Our image rigths acquisition from UrtheCast has increased our capacity to provide customers with value-added information services to the point of decision-making.”

The SCSGi images and services are also available through an online ordering system. See for more information.

South Africa’s Port of Durban, the busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa. This high definition satellite image was taken from a height of 400 km by an Urthecast Deimos camera.

Cape Town Stadium, built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Signal Hill are the most famous landmarks on this high definition satellite image taken from a height of 400 km by an Urthecast Deimos camera.

A section of central Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city with the Ellis Park Rugby Stadium and Standard Bank Arena shown next to the patch of cloud cover. The high definition satellite image was taken from a height of 400 km by an Urthecast Deimos camera.

A snatch of Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, with the Wonderboom Junction at the centre. This high definition satellite image was taken from a height of 400 km by an Urthecast Deimos camera.

Compiled by Anthony Penderis, Media Liaison, SCS Aerospace Group.

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