3 Canadian satellites to launch atop SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on June 11
Satellites will monitor Arctic permafrost and monitor ecosystems and more
The long-awaited launch of Canada's three Earth-observation satellites known as the RADARSAT Constellation is scheduled for next week.
Officials at the Canadian Space Agency provided an overview today of the next generation of Canadian satellites — a $1.2-billion project — and the type of work they will do ahead of the June 11 launch.
The three satellites will be launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The satellites, which will use radar to locate ships, monitor ecosystems and keep an eye on the Arctic, among other tasks, are part of a government-owned mission.
The trio will replace the RADARSAT-2 satellite, which has been in orbit since 2007. It was designed to last seven years, but is still operating while Constellation has been delayed.
The billion-dollar price tag — up from the original estimate of $600 million when it was first announced more than a decade ago — includes design, building, testing, launch and operational costs as the satellites are expected to last at least seven years.