Dynacon Inc. today confirmed that first contact
was made successfully with the MOST satellite at 4:51 PM EDT. Radio contact
was made during the first pass of MOST over its control station, located at
the University of Toronto’s Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) in north Toronto.
This contact confirms that the satellite survived the hazardous ride to orbit,
aboard a Russian Rockot (“Thunder”) launch vehicle, in good health.

MOST (which stands for “Microvariability & Oscillations of STars”) was
developed for the Canadian Space Agency by a Dynacon-led team of Canadian
engineers. With a size about that of a suitcase, a mass of only 52 kg and a
cost under CDN$10M, this is Canada’s first “microsatellite.” MOST also carries
Canada’s first space telescope, and will make some specialized astronomical
observations beyond the capacity of any other instrument.

“We are proud to have led the team responsible for bringing MicroSat
technology to Canada,” stated Dr. Glen Sincarsin, President of Dynacon. “This
successful first-contact with MOST heralds exciting new possibilities for
MicroSats in Canada. Regarding future applications for this technology,” he
said, “Our goal is to continue to exploit MicroSats for Canada’s benefit, be
it to perform science missions, technology demonstration missions, commercial
missions, or interplanetary missions.”

MOST was launched at 10:15 AM EDT today from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in
Russia, and separation of MOST from the Rockot’s upper stage was confirmed at
10:46 AM by Eurockot Launch Services. Jubilant Dynacon and SFL engineers,
after a brief pause for a champagne toast, spent the next 6 hours waiting for
the satellite to fly over Toronto, preparing the ground station’s radios and
steerable antenna to communicate with MOST. Radio contact was made early in
the pass, demonstrating that the satellite had survived the rigors of launch.
Initial telemetry data was gathered and indicated that the satellite was
healthy. In particular the battery was fully charged, temperatures were
nominal and all equipment was operating as expected.

In an orbit 820 km above the Earth’s surface, MOST is circling the Earth
once every 100 minutes at a speed of about 27,000 km per hour. It will fly
over the Toronto ground station 4 to 6 times per day; auxiliary ground
stations in Vancouver and Vienna will soon be ready to further increase the
number of daily contacts. For the next few weeks, engineers will proceed with
commissioning the satellite’s on-board systems, and calibrating the science
camera. Collection of science data, very precise measurements of the
brightness of target stars, can then proceed. A one-year long science mission
is planned for MOST.

MOST was funded and managed by the Canadian Space Agency’s Space Science
Branch under its Small Payloads Program; additional funding was provided to
SFL by the Ontario government through its Ontario Research and Development
Challenge Fund. Dynacon, as Prime Contractor for the mission, led the team
that developed the satellite and its ground stations, and that will now
operate MOST for the CSA. The Principal Investigator, Dr. Jaymie Matthews of
the University of British Columbia (UBC), leads a team of scientists from
across Canada, the United States and Austria, who will use measurements of the
brightness of stars from the telescope on MOST to probe the interior of stars,
set a limit on the age of the Universe, and for the first time, detect the
light reflected by mysterious planets beyond our Solar System.

The MOST project is a co-operative Canadian scientific partnership.
Dynacon developed the design for the overall MOST system, and has managed the
satellite development program. The telescope carried by MOST was developed by
a team at UBC, led by Dr. Matthews. Dynacon and SFL jointly developed the
satellite’s “bus”-which supports the telescope, points it in the correct
direction, and provides it with power, data processing and communications
services-and ground control stations. The satellite was assembled at SFL, with
participation of all principal team members. Other key partners include the
Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology (CRESTech) of Toronto,
Spectral Applied Research of Concord, Ontario, Routes, Inc. of Ottawa, the
Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) and the Royal Astronomical Society
of Canada (RASC).

About Dynacon

Dynacon Inc. is a privately held Canadian corporation, applying control
technologies to the space and laboratory automation markets. Dynacon’s
capabilities are program management and systems integration, analysis and
simulation, software and hardware design and fabrication. For the space
market, Dynacon develops and exports attitude and orbit control system
products and subsystems for small satellites, and constructs complete
microsatellites. In the laboratory automation market, Dynacon’s Inoculab
products reduce labor cost, increase quality, replace scarce labor and
eliminate exposure to repetitive strain injury.

About the Canadian Space Agency
Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Saint-Hubert,
Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian
Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry
Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the
Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications;
Space Technology; Space Qualification Services; Space Awareness and Education.
The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and
application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

Background information on the MOST project is available on Dynacon’s web
site at http://www.dynacon.ca/most.html, the CSA’s web site at
www.space.gc.ca/asc/eng/csa_sectors/space_science/astronomy/most.asp, the
UBC web site at http://www.astro.ubc.ca/MOST/index.html, and the UTIAS
web site at http://www.utias-sfl.net/code/projects/index.html