Press Release

Canada’s MOST Telescope Makes its First Step Toward Space

By SpaceRef Editor
May 22, 2003
Filed under ,
Canada’s MOST Telescope Makes its First  Step Toward Space
MOST Telescope

Saint-Hubert, May 23, 2003 – The Canadian Space Agency’s MOST microsatellite
is scheduled to blast into orbit on 30 June 2003. Built at Dynacon Inc.
(Toronto) and the Universities of British Columbia and Toronto, MOST is
being flown from Toronto to Moscow and will arrive at its launch site, the
Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, on May 26, 2003.

MOST (which stands for “Microvariability & Oscillations of STars”) will be
Canada’s first space telescope. Innovative Canadian technology has allowed
the scientists to pack this telescope in a microsatellite the size and mass
of a suitcase. Despite its modest dimensions, MOST will make specialized
observations beyond the capacity of any other instrument, including the
Hubble Space Telescope. MOST will probe the interior of stars, set a limit
on the age of the Universe, and for the first time, detect the light
reflected by mysterious planets beyond our Solar System.

In Plesetsk, MOST will be checked out by a team of Canadian scientists and
engineers, and then mounted onto a Russian “Rockot” launcher. This rocket
booster was once a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile now converted
to a peaceful scientific application.

Once in orbit 820 km above the Earth’s surface, MOST will circle the Earth
once every 100 minutes, at a speed of about 27,000 km per hour, passing over
ground stations in Toronto and Vancouver (and a backup in Vienna) several
times a day.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters 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; Space Technology; Space Qualification Services; Space
Awareness and Education. 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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For more information:
Monique Billette
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Tel: (450) 926-4370
E-mail: monique.billette@space.gc.ca

Dr. Jaymie Matthews
Associate Professor Physics & Astronomy
University of British Columbia and Mission Scientist
MOST Space Telescope Project
(604) 822-2696
matthews@astro.ubc.ca

SpaceRef staff editor.