The launch of several critical Canadian satellites has once again been delayed. Scheduled for a January 12th launch, the new target date is mid-February according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). During thermo-vacuum testing an issue came up with the primary payload on the launch, the joint Indian-France satellite SARAL.
The Canadian satellites are part of a secondary payload set to launch on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C20.
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.