Canada’s next-generation RADARSAT satellite constellation successfully launches to space
June 13, 2019
Global Korean Post
Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) was launched successfully into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 10:17 a.m. Eastern time from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The constellation of three satellites will provide daily images of Canada’s vast territory and maritime approaches, as well as images of the Arctic, up to four times a day. It will have daily access to 90 per cent of the world’s surface. The RCM is also equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS), allowing improved detection and tracking of ships, including those conducting illegal fishing.
For more than two decades, Canada’s world-leading RADARSAT satellites have been providing scientists, government and industry with crucial and continuous data for a wide variety of uses. The RCM will provide a transformational new capability that will be used by researchers to develop solutions to help better understand our planet and by governments to deliver enhanced and reliable services to Canadians.
Over 125 Canadian suppliers in 7 provinces helped build the RCM. The three spacecraft were assembled in the Montreal area by the prime contractor MDA, a Maxar company.
The RCM will orbit Earth at an altitude of 600 km. Each of the satellites has a life expectancy of 7 years.
The Government of Canada owns and will operate the RCM. At its peak, the construction of the satellites employed approximately 300 people in some 50 companies across the country.