MDA Selects CHORUS Launch Provider and Sets Launch Timeframe

Screenshot from new MDA CHORUS information video. Image credit: MDA.

MDA is once again going to launch a satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle. This time it’s for the CHORUS satellite. Previously, MDA was the first commercial customer to launch with SpaceX for the launch of the CASSIOPE satellite on September 29, 2013. SpaceX also launched the RADARSAT Constellation Mission trio of satellites in 2019.

CHORUS, previously known as SARnext, is expected to launch in Q4 2025 from a SpaceX launch pad in Florida. CHORUS is MDA’s next-generation Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite constellation which initially will consist of a “broad area” C-Band SAR satellite and a trailing high resolution X-band satellite. The X-band satellite is being developed by ICEYE.

Illustration of the initial CHORUS SAR constellation. Credit: MDA.

MDA described the CHORUS constellation as follows in a news release today. “A collaborative multi-sensor constellation, CHORUS will bring together diverse and unique imagery and data sources and provide a new level of near real-time insight and innovative Earth observation services. Operating in a unique mid-inclination orbit, CHORUS will be able to image day or night, regardless of weather conditions, with daily access of up to 95% of the coverage area. From an industry-leading 700km-wide imaging swath down to sub-metre high resolution, CHORUS will provide the most extensive and unrivalled Earth observation radar imaging capacity available on the market in a single mission.”

The news was announced at the MDA Earth Insight customer conference. Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA stated that, “The production of CHORUS is well underway and we are looking forward to once again working with SpaceX to launch our next generation Earth observation capability. The Earth is big, dynamic and evolving daily, and our ability to see, measure and analyze what is happening in near real-time – and over time – is imperative to meeting the needs of our global customer base. The insight that CHORUS will provide to governments, companies and organizations around the world will drive decisions and action, and will help to solve some of the biggest problems facing our planet.”

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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