Press Release

NASA Views Stars of Interest Through the Eyes of Canada’s Space Telescope

By SpaceRef Editor
July 8, 2009
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MSCI and Partners of the MOST Program Collaborate With NASA to Provide American Scientists with Access to Canadian Orbiting Observatory

Microsat Systems Canada Inc. (MSCI) (formerly the Space Division of Dynacon Inc.), Canada’s designer and builder of the Multi Mission Microsatellite Bus technology (MMMB), and innovator of Reaction Wheel attitude control system products is delighted to announce that the MOST Operations Team is collaborating with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to look at a star of joint interest.

The MOST Operations Team, led by MSCI with the University of Toronto, Space Flight Laboratory together with the MOST Scientific Team, led by Dr. Jaymie Matthews from the University of British Columbia, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), have welcomed Dr. Monnier of the University of Michigan representing NASA.

These observations are the first result of the collaboration between the MOST Team, NASA, and the CSA to make the unique capabilities of MOST available to US scientists.

The MOST (Microvariability & Oscillations of Stars) microsatellite observed a target proposed by astrophysicist Dr. John Monnier. The star – alpha Ophiuchi (brightest star in a constellation whose name means “snake holder”) is a rapidly spinning and vibrating star that may be a unique remote laboratory to study the internal structure of rotating stars.

Dr. Monnier, the first NASA “Guest Observer” on MOST, is an expert in taking ‘pictures’ of distant stars through a technique known as interferometry. He combines the light received by an array of widely spaced telescopes to give the sharpest possible image of a star – something that looks like just a pinpoint of light to even the largest single telescope in the world.

Dr. Monnier has found that the star alpha Ophiuchi is spinning so fast that it has been flattened from the normal spherical shape of a slowly rotating star like the Sun. The vibration frequencies currently being discovered by MOST will enable seismology of the star’s distorted interior.

MOST, NASA and the CSA will soon announce the second opportunity for American scientists to apply for observation time on Canada’s space telescope. This is another example of the spirit of cooperation that exists amongst astronomers and space scientists in Canada, the US, and other countries in the world.

“This is very exciting for MSCI,” stated David R. Cooper, President & CEO, MSCI. “The MOST microsatellite…” built for the Canadian Space Agency by MSCI, “…has been bringing home amazing astronomical data for more than six years. This collaboration is further recognition of the value and contribution that MOST is making to this body of knowledge and to the cost effectiveness of the microsatellite platform.”

About MSCI

MSCI is Canada’s leader in the design, development and delivery of cost-effective microsatellites, and the developer of Canada’s Multi Mission Microsatellite Bus technology (MMMB), capable of hosting a wide variety of remote sensing, communications, scientific and military payloads. MSCI also has proven capabilities in systems engineering analysis, the development of sophisticated, cost-effective attitude control systems solutions and their implementation into flight hardware and software.

Formerly the Space Division of Dynacon Inc., MSCI has been the premiere builder of microsatellites in Canada for over a decade. MSCI provides military and civil space agencies, as well as commercial markets, with space technology that enables space exploration and surveillance of Earth from space and other services for commercial applications. Additional information about MSCI can be found at

For more information, please contact:

Justin Phillips
Media Relations
HiPoint Marketing Inc.
905-513-1177 x 4440

SpaceRef staff editor.