RADARSAT-1 Celebrating its 6th Year in Space More than 220,000 Images Captured

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2001

St.Hubert, November 5, 2001 - The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) today announced that RADARSAT-1, Canada's first commercial remote sensing satellite, has successfully completed its sixth year in space capturing more than 220,000 images. Since its launch on November 4, 1995, at 9:23 a.m. (EST) from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, RADARSAT-1 has completed more than 30,000 orbits around the Earth and travelled almost 1.3 billion kilometres.

"Exceeding its nominal 5-year lifetime, Canada's world renowned RADARSAT-1 continues to greatly contribute to the development of a leading-edge Earth Observation space industry in Canada," said the Honourable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency". "With its unique set of instruments, capable of monitoring our planet day and night in all weather conditions, RADARSAT-1 has established an unparalleled international reputation and standard in Earth Observation that embodies Canadian innovation at its best."

Designed initially for frequent repeated surveillance of the entire Arctic region, the RADARSAT-1 mission has provided useful information in the fields of agriculture, cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies and coastal monitoring to nearly 600 clients and partners from almost 60 countries.

One of the highlights of the RADARSAT-1 mission was the Antarctic Mapping Missions (AMM) conducted in 1999 and again in 2000. Ken Jezek, main investigator of the mission at the Byrd Centre of The Ohio Sate University, developed an unprecedented high-resolution map of the entire frozen continent following each mission. RADARSAT-1 operations at the CSA performed the difficult task of rotating the satellite 180o during the AMM in order to provide the needed angle of incidence for Antarctic mapping. The AMM also demonstrated the capacity of RADARSAT-1 imaging to be used to track ice flows, using its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in an interferometric mode, over several repeat passes.

Canadian Space Agency's RADARSAT-1 also plays a major role in the "International Charter on Space and Major Disasters" which includes the European Space Agency and the French Space Agency (CNES). Established through the framework of UNISPACE III Conference of the United Nations in 1999, and launched in October 2000, the International Charter is the expression of a collective resolve to put space technology at the service of rescue authorities in the event of a major disaster. Building on the success of RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2 is currently under construction by prime contractor MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates and is scheduled for launch in 2003. RADARSAT-2 will ensure the continuity of data to users around the world and support the evolution of the Earth Observation business in Canada.

About the Canadian Space Agency

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.

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Media Relations
Canadian Space Agency
(450) 926-4370

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