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RADARSAT -1 Supporting Rescue Efforts in Siberia

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2001

25 May 2001 - As part of the efforts dispatched to assist rescue teams dealing with the most severe floods that Eastern Siberia has seen in a century, Canadian Space Agency's RADARSAT-1 has joined forces with other Earth observation satellites to capture images of the Lena River. These images will help Russian rescue teams that have rushed to the region of Yakutia enabling them to send resources where they are most needed.

"Canada is proud to take part in this International mission, offering RADARSAT-1 images to rescue teams on the ground," said the Honourable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency. "The dedication of our leading-edge Canadian space-based resources such as RADARSAT-1 to this international effort demonstrates our commitment to use innovative Canadian technology to assist humanity."

The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters was activated in response to a request received through the German authorities on May 22. Space agency members of the International Charter dispatched their satellites in emergency mode. They include the Canadian Space Agency's RADARSAT-1 satellite, the European Space Agency's ERS-2 radar satellite and the French space agency's optical SPOT satellites.

The combination of these satellite resources provides emergency rescue organisations with imagery that is captured day and night and in all weather conditions. Up-to-date maps and information obtained from archived and newly acquired images are being forwarded to the rescue authorities as soon as they are available. Positioning, operation and image capture are being coordinated by the International Charter partners.

The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is the expression of a collective resolve to put space technology at the service of rescue authorities in the event of a major disaster. Its current signatories are the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the French Space Agency (CNES). The Charter is open for signature by space agencies and satellite operators anywhere in the world. All partners undertake to cooperate on a voluntary basis, with no exchange of funds between them.

The International Charter was set up in the framework of the UNISPACE III Conference of the United Nations in 1999 and has been in force since November 1, 2000. Among the most significant operations, assistance was provided to rescue organisations following a series of earthquakes in El Salvador in January 2001.

About RADARSAT-1

Developed and operated by the Canadian Space Agency, RADARSAT-1 is Canada's first Earth observation satellite. RADARSAT-1 is providing clients worldwide with timely and critical data to assist in disaster relief and emergency rescue efforts. RADARSAT-1 also provides information required by commercial and scientific users in the fields of agriculture, cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies and coastal monitoring.

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Images are available at: http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/results2.asp?image_id=RSAT-01 et http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/results2.asp?image_id=RSAT-2

For information: AndrČ Leclair Senior Communications Officer Canadian Space Agency Tel: (450) 926 4370 Andre.leclair@space.gc.ca

-- Jacques :-)

http://www.spacepatches.com

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