Canadian satellites – including one to track asteroids – launch Monday aboard Indian rocket

Published: February 25, 2013

PETER RAKOBOWCHUK
THE CANADIAN PRESS

NEOSSat

An artist’s rendering of the NEOSSat satellite, which will be launched Monday from India. Submitted photo/CP/Canadian Space Agency

MONTREAL — There’s a lot riding on NEOSSat and Sapphire, two Canadian satellites scheduled to be launched from India on Monday.

NEOSSat (Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite) could perhaps have proven quite useful had it been in place before a destructive meteor recently exploded over Russia.

David Cooper, the CEO of Microsat Systems Canada, says NEOSSat will be on the lookout for “Aten” asteroids which, every once and a while, will cross Earth’s path.

Atens are a group of near-Earth asteroids which orbit the sun elliptically and periodically cross Earth’s orbital plane.

The Microsat executive said he suspects the space rock that streaked over Russia, causing numerous injuries, must have been an “Aten” asteroid.

“We’re pretty lucky that it just grazed off the Earth’s atmosphere and heated up and exploded, rather than having a trajectory which would have taken it right into the Earth,” Cooper said from his office in Mississauga, Ont.

“If it had come down in the middle of New York City it would have made a lot more noise than it did.”

He said that NEOSSat is designed to specifically look for Aten asteroids that can’t be seen from the ground because of the scattering of the sun’s light in the atmosphere.

“Once we detect and track them, we can project their orbit and then forecast ahead — sometimes years or decades (in advance) — where and when they will cross Earth’s orbit. . .

“It will give us a lot more insight into the potential for these asteroids.”

The hope is that if we understand an asteroid’s path, we could take measures to protect ourselves.

In a recent interview, Alan Hildebrand of the University of Calgary said studies are already being done to see how a threatening asteroid can be deflected.

The planetary scientist said one option would involve exploding a device near an asteroid while another would use a spacecraft to pull it away.

The $15 million suitcase-sized satellite, which will circle about 800 kilometres above the Earth every 100 minutes, is the first space telescope dedicated to looking for potentially hazardous asteroids.

NEOSSat, which was built by Microsat Systems Canada, was jointly funded by the Canadian Space Agency and DRDC (Defence Research and Development Canada).

Sapphire, Canada’s first military satellite, will join NEOSSat on the launch pad Monday.

A total of seven satellites will be launched aboard India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, at 7:25 a.m. ET. The launch had been postponed because work on an Indo-French satellite, the rocket’s primary payload, was delayed.

National Defence describes Sapphire as the largest part of the Canadian surveillance system, intended to increase “space situational awareness.”

The metre-long satellite, which weighs about 150 kilograms, will be used to support Canadian and international military operations and well as bilateral commitments such as NORAD.

Sapphire will contribute to the United States Space Surveillance Network, which currently tracks more than 22,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 centimetres.

The data that’s collected will be used to warn satellite operators of potential collisions as a result of space debris. A cliche among space professionals is that space has become “congested, contested and competitive.”

Sapphire will be placed in a polar synchronous orbit, some 800 kilometres above the Earth. MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) was awarded a $65 million dollar federal contract to build the satellite.


Tags: , , , , , , ,





Featured

WKLChampions

Spice Sports: World Kabaddi League Champion Crowned

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi! Heading into the final weekend of the Wave World Kabaddi League season, the…
Continue Reading »

bibeau

Terror on your doorstep: A third of B.C.ers believe radicals are living on their block

GORD MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI Half of British Columbians believe there is a serious threat of homegrown terrorism in Canada, according to a poll by the…
Continue Reading »

monkey main

Killer monkeys invade India after government issues wildlife preservation to protect wild apes

CEN AGENCY A ban on capturing monkeys in India has led to an explosion of ape attacks – some which are deadly – across the…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Hockey legend Pat Quinn remembered as a straight shooter with a heart of gold

HKN-OBIT-Pat-Quinn, 7th Writethru Correction By Stephen Whyno THE CANADIAN PRESS On the ice, behind the bench and behind his desk, Pat Quinn was an imposing…
Continue Reading »

WKLChampions

Spice Sports: World Kabaddi League Champion Crowned

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi! Heading into the final weekend of the Wave World Kabaddi League season, the…
Continue Reading »

bibeau

Terror on your doorstep: A third of B.C.ers believe radicals are living on their block

GORD MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI Half of British Columbians believe there is a serious threat of homegrown terrorism in Canada, according to a poll by the…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

Surrey

Surrey’s YouTube prankster Ace Journey on a roll (w/video)

KRISTI ALEXANDRA SURREY NOW SURREY — If you were recently chased through Bear Creek Park by a Sasquatch, chances are you were part of a…
Continue Reading »

desi-sex-bollywood-bhabhi

Venus Williams dances on a Bollywood number in India (w/gallery, video)

CEN AGENCY Former world number one tennis player Venus Williams, 34, took the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream by dancing to a Bollywood number…
Continue Reading »

desi bride loaded in gold

Indian bride draws flak for wearing $700,000 jewellery at her wedding

CEN AGENCY An Indian sweet maker made sure his daughter was the golden girl at her upcoming wedding by covering her in gold jewellery worth…
Continue Reading »

India

Video: Bear mauls Indian farmer to death, injures second man (Warning: Graphic Content)

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian farmer was mauled to death and another left seriously injured after a terrifying and unusual bear attack in Karnataka on Monday,…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone the next hit Bollywood couple?

HINDUSTAN TIMES Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone are known to deliver hits on their shoulders alone. Now, audiences may be in for a…
Continue Reading »

Indian Director of the film 'Eklavya' Vidhu Vinod Chopra listens during a press conference in New Delhi, 28 September 2007. Chopra says he'd like to make 3 Idiots in different languages. AFP PHOTO/ Manpreet ROMANA

Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra wants to make 3 Idiots in different languages

IANS Panaji — Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra says he wants to make the blockbuster 3 Idiots in various languages because it left an impact on…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood Actor Shah Rukh Khan attends a signing event as the new brand ambassador for the DHFL housing finance company in Mumbai on November 21, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Shah Rukh Khan sends out audio card to 10 million Twitter followers

IANS Mumbai — Superstar Shah Rukh Khan treated his more than 10 million Twitter followers with an audio card on Sunday, thanking his fans for their…
Continue Reading »