In yet another delay, SpaceRef has learned that the launch of two important government satellites, NEOSSat and Sapphire along with two university built nanosatellites has been postponed from its December 12th launch date to January 12th. No reason has been released publicly for the delay.
The satellites are part of a secondary payload set to launch on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C20 with the joint Indo-French SARAL satellite as the primary payload.
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.