TMCNet:  Canada launches asteroid-tracking satellite

[February 26, 2013]

Canada launches asteroid-tracking satellite

Toronto, Feb 26, 2013 (EFE via COMTEX) -- Canada announced the successful launch of a pair of nano-satellites, the country's first military satellite and another orbiting device to detect and track asteroids.

The satellites were part of the payload of an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle that lifted off Monday from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.

The Canadian Space Agency's Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite, or NEOSSat, is the first device put into orbit for the specific purpose of detecting asteroids.

SAPPHIRE, Canada's first military satellite, has the mission of monitoring other satellites and space debris as part of a joint effort with the U.S. military to avert collisions.

The two nano-satellites are the smallest space telescopes ever placed into orbit and will eventually be linked to four other satellites - two each from Austria and Poland - in the BRITE (BRIght Target Explorer) Constellation mission. EFE jcr/dr

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