Posted: Friday, December 14, 2007
Starsem's third mission of 2007 successfully orbited the Canadian RADARSAT-2 satellite today, confirming the role of Russia's workhorse Soyuz in the commercial launch services marketplace. Lifting off right on time at 7:17 p.m. local time (2:17 p.m. in Paris and 8:17 a.m. U.S. East Coast time), the Soyuz climbed into clear skies over Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome, and deployed RADARSAT-2 into Sun-synchronous orbit 53 minutes later.
"Today, we are happy to have successfully launched the RADARSAT-2 Soyuz, which also, in fact, marks the 20th Soyuz flight performed under Starsem's responsibility," said Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Le Gall. "This success was made possible thanks to the reliable Soyuz launch vehicle, whose flawless performance enabled today's launch. Once again, together, we have demonstrated that the Soyuz is an extremely reliable launch vehicle and definitely a very, very strong partner of the satellite operators!"
RADARSAT-2 is a commercial C-band synthetic aperture radar satellite, and its missions include marine surveillance, ice monitoring, disaster management, environmental monitoring, resource management and mapping in Canada and around the world. The 2,200-kg. spacecraft is a follow-on RADARSAT-1 platform, which was launched in 1995.
Development of RADARSAT-2 was handled in a unique government/industry collaboration involving the Canadian Space Agency and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA). MDA is to operate the satellite and ground segment, while the Canadian Space Agency contributed funds for RADARSAT-2's construction and launch.
RADARSAT-2 incorporates technical advancements that include 3-meter high-resolution imaging, flexibility in selection of its scanning polarization, left and right-looking imaging options, superior data storage and more precise measurements of spacecraft position and attitude.
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