The European Space Agency will be launching a pair of satellites early Sunday evening at 8:50 p.m. EST on a Russian Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia that feature technology demonstrations from three Canadian Companies.
The two satellites being launched are the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and PRoject for OnBoard Autonomy (Proba-2). The Proba-2 satellite is part of ESA’s inorbit technology demonstration programme which are missions dedicated to the demonstration of innovative technologies. It is the Proba-2 satellite that will feature the following Canadian technologies:
– New models of reaction wheels from Microsat Systems Canada Inc. (MSCI) of Mississauga, Ontatro. MSCI is a privately held company that was formerly the space division of Dynacon Inc.
– A fibre-sensor system for monitoring temperatures and pressures around the spacecraft, developed by MPB Communications Inc. of Montreal, Qubec.
– New guidance and navigation computer algorithms developed by NGC Aerospace of Sherbrooke, Qubec. The ACNS software (Attitude Control and Navigation System) enables the autonomous navigation, guidance and control of Earth observation satellites.
The Canadian companies are participating in this mission through a co-operation agreement that exists between the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA).
LIVE LAUNCH: You can watch the launch live Sunday from the European Space Agency SMOS web site. The launch is scheduled for 8:50 p.m. eastern standard time.