Falcon 9 first stage descends toward a landing as the second stage orbits Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)
by Douglas Messier
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) on Wednesday, orbiting three satellites that will improve the nation’s ability to conduct maritime surveillance, monitor its ecosystem and climate change, and undertake disaster relief efforts.
The booster lifted off on time at 7:17 a.m. PDT, piercing a thick layer of fog at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Deployment of the three RADARSAT spacecraft was completed just over one hour after liftoff.
Falcon 9’s first stage successfully touched down at Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg. The booster previously launched SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on its first demonstration mission in March 2019.
The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is the evolution of the RADARSAT Program and builds on Canada’s expertise and leadership in Earth observation from space. It consists of three identical C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Earth observation satellites.
Built by MDA, a Maxar company, the three C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) Earth observation satellites will provide daily revisits of Canada’s vast territory and maritime approaches, including the Arctic up to 4 times a ...