Hominin Space Flight






Friday, July 28, 2023 to Tuesday, October 31, 2023




 The permit is issued to Prof Lee R Berger (University of the Witwatersrand) to temporarily export one clavicle (UW881) of Australopithecus sediba from Malapa National Heritage Site and one metacarpal (UW 101-1321) from Homo naledi from Rising Star Cave within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site to Virgin Galactic Spaceport, New Mexico, for a space flight for the promotion of science and discoveries in South Africa. The material is currently housed at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.


1. Only the selected representatives of the material stored in the collection may be exported.

2. The material must be carefully packed and all packaging must be clearly marked with the name of the site (if known), and the name and address of the permit holder or the Evolutionary Studies Institute.

3. The material will be hand-carried by Prof Lee R Berger to and from Virgin Galactic Spaceport, New Mexico, and hand-carried by Mr Tim Nash into space.

4. Prof Lee R Berger and Mr Tim Nash are responsible for the transport to and from the above mentioned facilities.

5. The samples must be used for science promotion purposes only, and may not be sold or exchanged.

6. The material may not be loaned to any person or institution other than the above stated participants in the study, without the consent of SAHRA.

7. Destructive analysis or sampling may not be undertaken.

8. A report on the activities undertaken in terms of this permit must be emailed to before 31 December 2023 using the template in the following link:

9. Copies of any publications that may result from the export of the material must be lodged with SAHRA.

10. SAHRA shall not be liable for any losses, damages or injuries to persons or properties as a result of any activities in connection with this permit.

11. SAHRA reserves the right to cancel this permit by notice to the permit holder.

12. Should any legal proceedings arise with regard to this permit or the transport and loan of the material, these proceedings must be addressed within in the South African legislative framework.

13. Request to renew permits must be done at least two months prior to the expiry of the existing permit.



PDF of Permit: 

PDF icon 21821 permit_export_hominin_space.pdf97.47 KB

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