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Canadian Scientists Cheer Odin Launch - Swedish Satellite Mission Takes on Earth Observation and Astronomy

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2001

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) today announced the successful launch from Svobodny, in far eastern Russia, of Sweden's Odin satellite, on a dual-purpose mission to study ozone depletion in the Earth's atmosphere and to search for water and oxygen in interstellar space.

Flying onboard Odin, the Canadian Space Agency's Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) instrument will provide detailed data relating to ozone depletion, especially with respect to the situation at high latitudes, including Canada. The instrument was designed and built by Routes AstroEngineering Ltd. of Kanata, Ontario.

"I congratulate our Canadian scientific and industrial partners for their valuable contribution to this exciting project," said the Honourable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency. "International collaborations like this one with Sweden, France and Finland position Canadians as world leaders in space research and innovation."

University of Saskatchewan scientist, Dr. E.J. (Ted) Llewellyn heads the Canadian atmospheric science team. He expects to have initial data for analysis starting in May. The scientific results will complement other data received from various past, present and future ground- and space-based ozone studies, including CSA balloon, rocket and satellite missions.

The astronomical objective of the mission is to study the physics and the chemistry of interstellar space by searching for water and oxygen molecules. These molecules are crucial clues for improving our understanding of comets, giant molecular clouds and nearby dark clouds, the deep atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn and the formation of stars in nearby galaxies.

The CSA provided a cryogenic cooler to keep Sweden's Sub-Millimeter Radiometer (SMR) instrument at a cool -175 degrees Celsius, enabling it to register signals from distant stars.

When not pointed at the stars, this instrument will work in conjunction with OSIRIS to provide complementary data for ozone research. Dr. Sun Kwok of the University of Calgary leads the Canadian astronomers on this mission.

The CSA's contribution to the Odin mission totals approximately $15 million including some $6 million for the development of the OSIRIS instrument. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council is providing almost $1 million over five years for ground-based scientific support as well as for the analysis of data coming from the mission.

About the CSA

Established in 1989 and situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) invests in people, discovery and innovation and is the national instrument for making strategic investments in Canada's capability in science and technology.

Funding for this project was provided for in the February 2000 budget and is therefore built into the existing financial framework.

- 30 - For more information on the Odin project, please visit:

http://www.snsb.se/Odin/Odin.html

To see the University of Saskatchewan's press release, please visit: http://www.usask.ca

To see the University of Calgary's press release, please visit: http://www.fp.ucalgary.ca/unicomm/news/index.html

To see Trent University's press release, please visit: http://www.trentu.ca

For more information:

Anna Kapiniari
Manager, Public Relations and Media

Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4350
E-mail: anna.kapiniari@space.gc.ca

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