St.Hubert, November 5, 2001 – The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) today
announced that RADARSAT-1, Canada’s first commercial remote sensing
satellite, has successfully completed its sixth year in space capturing more
than 220,000 images. Since its launch on November 4, 1995, at 9:23 a.m.
(EST) from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, RADARSAT-1 has
completed more than 30,000 orbits around the Earth and travelled almost 1.3
billion kilometres.

“Exceeding its nominal 5-year lifetime, Canada’s world renowned RADARSAT-1
continues to greatly contribute to the development of a leading-edge Earth
Observation space industry in Canada,” said the Honourable Brian Tobin,
Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space
Agency”. “With its unique set of instruments, capable of monitoring our
planet day and night in all weather conditions, RADARSAT-1 has established
an unparalleled international reputation and standard in Earth Observation
that embodies Canadian innovation at its best.”

Designed initially for frequent repeated surveillance of the entire Arctic
region, the RADARSAT-1 mission has provided useful information in the fields
of agriculture, cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies
and coastal monitoring to nearly 600 clients and partners from almost 60

One of the highlights of the RADARSAT-1 mission was the Antarctic Mapping
Missions (AMM) conducted in 1999 and again in 2000. Ken Jezek, main
investigator of the mission at the Byrd Centre of The Ohio Sate University,
developed an unprecedented high-resolution map of the entire frozen
continent following each mission. RADARSAT-1 operations at the CSA performed
the difficult task of rotating the satellite 180o during the AMM in order to
provide the needed angle of incidence for Antarctic mapping. The AMM also
demonstrated the capacity of RADARSAT-1 imaging to be used to track ice
flows, using its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in an interferometric mode,
over several repeat passes.

Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT-1 also plays a major role in the
“International Charter on Space and Major Disasters” which includes the
European Space Agency and the French Space Agency (CNES). Established
through the framework of UNISPACE III Conference of the United Nations in
1999, and launched in October 2000, the International Charter is the
expression of a collective resolve to put space technology at the service of
rescue authorities in the event of a major disaster.
Building on the success of RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2 is currently under
construction by prime contractor MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates and is
scheduled for launch in 2003. RADARSAT-2 will ensure the continuity of data
to users around the world and support the evolution of the Earth Observation
business in Canada.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 and 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; Generic Space
Technologies; Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space
Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space
knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

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Media Relations
Canadian Space Agency
(450) 926-4370