After years of delays, two important government satellites, NEOSSat and Sapphire along with two university built nanosatellites are now set to launch on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C20 on Wednesday, December 12 from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center.
NEOSSat will be the first space telescope dedicated to the search for near-Earth asteroids. NEOSSat is the result of a university-industry collaboration and will spend half the time looking for these small interplanetary objects that could potentially impact the Earth and cause great damage. NEOSSat will spend the other half of its time searching for satellites and space debris in orbit around the Earth in a research project sponsored by a DND agency, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).
Sapphire is the Department of National Defence (DND) first dedicated military satellite and will upgrade Canada’s space surveillance capabilities.
Also launching on the PSLV-C20 rocket are the Canadian built CanX-3b (aka TUGSAT-1) and CanX-3a (aka UniBRITE) nanosatellites. Both of these nanosatellites we’re built by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory.