Trio of Canadian RADARSAT Constellation satellites head into orbit

SpaceX Dragon cargo craft arrives at ISS with help of Canadian-made robotic arm

The three satellites were part of Canada's RADARSAT Constellation of Earth-observation satellites.

Three Canadian satellites representing the next generation of Earth-observation technology have been successfully deployed after being launched into orbit today aboard a SpaceX rocket.

The first stage for the RADARSAT Constellation mission previously supported Crew Dragon's first demonstration mission in March 2019. According to the CSA, the RCM satellites will fall into an orbit approximately 370 miles above Earth.

Vandenberg Air Force officials have confirmed the launch window for early Wednesday morning, and cautioned that residents in nearby counties - including San Luis Obispo County - might hear a sonic boom as the re-usable SpaceX rocket returns to the landing pad after launch.

A Falcon 9 rocket will launch the three-satellite mission at 10:17 a.m. Wednesday from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and will begin deployment about 54 minutes later.

The mission will capture images of Earth's water, land, ice and atmosphere during the day and night and in all types of weather, including heavy cloud cover, smoke and haze.

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The third mission, dubbed the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), ups the ante by sending three satellites up simultaneously.

This booster already has one launch and landing under its belt.

Each satellite is expected to have a seven-year lifespan.

The RCM satellites represent the next stage of Canada's Radarsat program, which eyes our planet in radio-wavelength light.

According to a press release from SpaceX, the new C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites will aid the Canadian government's maritime surveillance abilities, as well as its ecosystem and climate change monitoring efforts.

The public can view this launch from the Hawk's Nest on Azalea Lane off of Hwy 1 just over a mile south of Vandenberg AFB's main gate, which will open at 6 a.m. and close after the conclusion of the landing of the first stage.


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