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

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

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland with client Bhupinder Singh Brar at the CBSA office at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing in Surrey, BC Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Jason Payne/ PNG

‘Technical glitch’ means long-haul trucker can’t take job waiting for him, and must return to India

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Long-haul trucker Bhupinder Singh Brar is in high demand for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program — yet the Canada Border Services…
Continue Reading »

Sexual luring online - Cyberbullying

Surrey cricketer and his brother busted by Facebook security for Internet luring

JANE SEYD NORTH SHORE NEWS A Surrey man has been sentenced to house arrest after he was busted by Facebook security for inappropriate sexual chat…
Continue Reading »

British Columbia

McDonald’s puts temporary foreign workers program on hold after Victoria franchises controversy

THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA — McDonald’s Canada says temporary foreign workers are a necessary ingredient in the fast-food chain’s business model, but until the company satisfies…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland with client Bhupinder Singh Brar at the CBSA office at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing in Surrey, BC Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Jason Payne/ PNG

‘Technical glitch’ means long-haul trucker can’t take job waiting for him, and must return to India

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Long-haul trucker Bhupinder Singh Brar is in high demand for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program — yet the Canada Border Services…
Continue Reading »

Sexual luring online - Cyberbullying

Surrey cricketer and his brother busted by Facebook security for Internet luring

JANE SEYD NORTH SHORE NEWS A Surrey man has been sentenced to house arrest after he was busted by Facebook security for inappropriate sexual chat…
Continue Reading »

British Columbia

McDonald’s puts temporary foreign workers program on hold after Victoria franchises controversy

THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA — McDonald’s Canada says temporary foreign workers are a necessary ingredient in the fast-food chain’s business model, but until the company satisfies…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Desi Dad

Single dad smuggles daughter in suitcase from Morocco to Spain (w/video, photos)

CEN AGENCY A Moroccan dad who tried to smuggle his daughter into Spain by hiding her in a suitcase so that she could have a…
Continue Reading »

Mouse deer

World’s smallest deer that’s more like a ‘mouse’ born at a Spain zoo

CEN AGENCY The world’s smallest deer – more like a mouse – with a heritage stretching back millions of years has been born at a…
Continue Reading »

Russian social services have confiscated a two-month-old baby from his mother after she pushed him onto the rail tracks in his pram during a heated row with the boy's father. CEN Agency

Video: Angry mom wants baby back that she shoved onto train tracks (w/gallery)

CEN AGENCY Russian social services have confiscated a two-month-old baby from his mother after she pushed him onto the rail tracks in his pram during…
Continue Reading »

Rape-Gang rape-crime against women

Indians view rape as ‘very big problem’: Poll

MATTHEW PENNINGTON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — A new poll shows that Indians view rape as a big problem in their country and think the…
Continue Reading »

Desi-bhoot bangla-China-Asia

Gallery: No one wants these luxury villas in ‘The City of the Dead’

CEN AGENCY These are the luxury homes that no-one wants in a place locals call ‘The City of the Dead’. Over 100 villas here have…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Salman Khan-Jacqueline Fernandez

London bus drives off Warsaw Bridge causing panic, turns out to be a Bollywood shoot (w/video, photos)

CEN AGENCY Polish police received panicked calls after this London double-decker bus drove off a bridge, and plummeted into a river in the Polish capital…
Continue Reading »

Music-Bollywood-desi sex symbol

Priyanka Chopra’s latest single ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ already a hit on iTunes in 24 hours

IANS Mumbai – The going is great for actor-singer Priyanka Chopra. She is out with her third solo single “I can’t make you love me”,…
Continue Reading »

condom-ads-Durex-sex-booty shake

Video: Bollywood actor and Durex brand ambassador Ranveer Singh urges people to try ‘the Rex’

IANS New Delhi – Actor Ranveer Singh, who has done bold scenes in movies like “Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela” and “Band Baaja Baaraat”, is now…
Continue Reading »