SpaceX successfully lands rocket after satellite launch

Federico Mansilla
Junio 13, 2019

On a foggy Los Angeles morning, three Canadian satellites - the RADARSAT Constellation - launched into oribt atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster rocket. The RADARSAT Constellation is Canada's new generation of Earth observation satellites.

Minutes after launch, the Falcon 9's second stage separated and pressed onward to orbit.

The booster used to launch RADARSAT had previously seen service in Florida, sending the Crew Dragon demonstrator to the International Space Station before landing on a drone ship stationed in the Atlantic ocean.

SpaceX released a blooper reel on Thursday, September 14, of its Falcon 9 rocket failing to land during testing.

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The identical satellites will bounce signals off the Earth's surface to create images, even during adverse weather conditions.

The gathered data will be used for a variety of tasks, including maritime tracking, monitoring Arctic ice, assessing crops and planning for natural disasters. RADARSAT-2, launched in 2007 and still in operation, also regularly scans at 100 m resolution and can get down to 1 metre for its ultra-fine focused scans. Radarsat-2 was launched in 2007 and is still operational, but the new three-satellite constellation is created to greatly increase coverage, according to the space agency.

The spacecraft were created to operate in the same orbital plane at an altitude of about 373 miles (600 kilometres), separated from each other by about 9,072 miles (14,600 kilometres) while circling the globe in about 96 minutes.

The system targets specific areas for imaging rather than making continuous images. They are expected to generate 250,000 images per year - 50 times more than the first generation RADARSAT satellite.

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