Canada’s long awaited launch of the NEOSSat and Sapphire satellites will have to wait a little longer, slipping into a Q3 launch, with an anticipated earliest launch date of mid-July.
India is scheduled to launch the PSLV-C19 rocket no earlier than April 15th with the joint French-India RISAT-1 satellite. Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of India’s space program normally takes three months preparing between launches. Assuming there are no problems with the PSLV-C19 launch or preparations for the PSLV-C20 launch, then a mid-July launch seems possible.
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.