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SpaceX Falcon 9 to Launch Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
June 10, 2019
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RADARSAT Constellation Mission

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Launch Time:7:17 a.m. PDT (10:17 a.m. EDT; 1417 GMT)
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Courtesy of Natural Resources Canada

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is Canada’s newest generation of radar Earth Observation (EO) satellites that will contribute to a better understanding of Canada’s land and natural resources.

The RCM will capture images of the earth’s water, land, ice and atmosphere during the day and night and in all types of weather, including heavy cloud cover, smoke and haze.

Maritime surveillance: Ice monitoring, ship detection, oil pollution monitoring and marine wind measurement.

Disaster management: Mitigation, warning, response and recovery for earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanoes, and windstorms.

Ecosystem monitoring: Forestry, agriculture, protected areas, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and coasts.

What is new about the RADARSAT Constellation Mission?

As a constellation, the RCM will launch three small identical satellites instead of a single large satellite like RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2.

Orbiting the earth in the same path at intervals approximately 30 minutes apart, these satellites will provide complete coverage of the Arctic between four and six times per day, and all of Canada at least once per day.

With their rapid revisit capability, the satellites will be able capture the exact same view of the exact same location on the earth’s surface once every four days instead of once every 24 days, as is currently possible with RADARSAT-2.