Used SpaceX Rocket Launching 3 Satellites Wednesday

13 Juin, 2019, 10:54 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • SpaceX is launching some Earth-observing satellites part of the Radarsat Constellation Mission on June 12

On a foggy Los Angeles morning, three Canadian satellites - the RADARSAT Constellation - launched into oribt atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster rocket.

Once the 13-minute launch window begins, the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket, which previously helped with SpaceX's Demo-1 Mission, will take off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, launch the three "Earth-watching" satellites into orbit, and aim for a landing attempt that will take place roughly eight minutes after liftoff and involve the first stage descending to Vandenberg Air Force Base's Landing Zone 4.

The RCM satellites represent the next stage of Canada's Radarsat program, which eyes our planet in radio-wavelength light. It helped send SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule toward the International Space Station this past March.

The rocket lifted off from fog-shrouded Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:17 a.m. and arced over the Pacific west of Los Angeles.

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The identical satellites will bounce signals off the Earth's surface to create images, even during adverse weather conditions. Radarsat-1 operated from 1995 through 2013, and Radarsat-2 launched in December 2007 and is still going strong.

The images are used for a wide range of purposes, including monitoring sea ice, disaster management and agricultural and forestry management.

The RADARSAT constellation, built by Maxar Technologies' MDA, is the third in Canada's sequence of Earth observation satellites. The Canadian government owns and will operate the satellites.

The system targets specific areas for imaging rather than making continuous images. The trio is designed for an operating life of seven years.

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