Recovery Prospects Low for Dormant Radarsat-1

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VICTORIA, British Columbia — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced April 9 that the country’s Radarsat-1 satellite has experienced technical problems that could hinder its future performance.

The CSA said in a statement that the unspecified “technical anomaly” happened March 29 and it has put the spacecraft into “safe mode”, a semi-dormant state by which it conserves energy.

“This provides the Canadian Space Agency’s operations team with the required time to investigate and assess any necessary remedial action,” the statement noted. “The investigation is ongoing, but expectations of a full recovery are low.”

Radarsat-1 was launched in 1995 and has been seen as a technological success story for Canada’s space sector. According to the CSA it has surpassed its expected lifetime by 12 years.

Government and commercial users of Radarsat-1 have been advised that no new orders for imagery are being accepted, but that requests for archival images will continue to be processed, the CSA added.