The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] will launch Canada's RADARSAT-2 Earth-observation satellite, with the world's most advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system, on board a Delta II rocket in 2003.
MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, on June 23 awarded Boeing a contract to launch the satellite. Its satellite mass is expected to be 2,600 kilograms (approximately 5,720 pounds), and its orbit 798 kilometers (431 nautical miles) at 98.6 degrees, sun-synchronous.
"With the selection of our launch provider, we are right on track and moving forward toward a successful mission," said David Caddey, executive vice president and general manager of MacDonald Dettwiler's Space Missions Group.
RADARSAT-2 will offer data for new applications tailored to market needs, thereby enhancing the satellite's potential for providing new environmental and resource information. It will also have an all-weather, 24-hour viewing imager with a ground resolution of three meters, while the RADARSAT-1 satellite has a ground resolution of 10 meters.
RADARSAT-2, follow-on to RADARSAT-1, is a jointly funded program between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and MacDonald Dettwiler. It is part of a groundbreaking, public-private sector partnership and a further step toward commercialization of the spaceborne radar imaging business.
Launched by NASA on a Delta II rocket in November 1995, RADARSAT-1 continues to provide Canada and the world with an operational radar satellite system capable of timely delivery of Earth-observation data. The scenes RADARSAT-1 has collected have provided new information for the management and monitoring of the global environment in the areas of disaster relief operations, ice navigation, agriculture, mapping, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, and coastal monitoring to both commercial and scientific users.
"We appreciate MacDonald Dettwiler's confidence in selecting a Delta rocket," said Jay Witzling, Boeing vice president, Delta II and Delta III. "This contract reflects our commitment to building long-term relationships with, and supporting quality companies like, MacDonald Dettwiler."
MacDonald Dettwiler is an information company that provides essential information from anywhere in the world for decision-making in the workplace. The company is working with the CSA to design and build the RADARSAT-2 spacecraft, tentatively scheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in April 2003.
The Delta II is a medium-capacity expendable launch vehicle derived from the Delta family of rockets built and launched since 1960. It is manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif., with final assembly in Pueblo, Colo., and is powered by the RS-27A engine built by Boeing in Canoga Park, Calif. The Delta launch team at Vandenberg Air Force Base will provide launch coordination and operations for this mission.
Boeing Delta Web Site