25 May 2001 – As part of the efforts dispatched to assist
rescue teams dealing with the most severe floods that Eastern Siberia has
seen in a century, Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT-1 has joined forces with
other Earth observation satellites to capture images of the Lena River.
These images will help Russian rescue teams that have rushed to the region
of Yakutia enabling them to send resources where they are most needed.

"Canada is proud to take part in this International mission, offering
RADARSAT-1 images to rescue teams on the ground," said the Honourable Brian
Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space
Agency. "The dedication of our leading-edge Canadian space-based resources
such as RADARSAT-1 to this international effort demonstrates our commitment
to use innovative Canadian technology to assist humanity."

The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters was activated in
response to a request received through the German authorities on May 22.
Space agency members of the International Charter dispatched their
satellites in emergency mode. They include the Canadian Space Agency’s
RADARSAT-1 satellite, the European Space Agency’s ERS-2 radar satellite and
the French space agency’s optical SPOT satellites.

The combination of these satellite resources provides emergency rescue
organisations with imagery that is captured day and night and in all weather
conditions. Up-to-date maps and information obtained from archived and newly
acquired images are being forwarded to the rescue authorities as soon as
they are available. Positioning, operation and image capture are being
coordinated by the International Charter partners.

The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is the expression of
a collective resolve to put space technology at the service of rescue
authorities in the event of a major disaster. Its current signatories are
the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the
French Space Agency (CNES). The Charter is open for signature by space
agencies and satellite operators anywhere in the world. All partners
undertake to cooperate on a voluntary basis, with no exchange of funds
between them.

The International Charter was set up in the framework of the UNISPACE III
Conference of the United Nations in 1999 and has been in force since
November 1, 2000. Among the most significant operations, assistance was
provided to rescue organisations following a series of earthquakes in El
Salvador in January 2001.


Developed and operated by the Canadian Space Agency, RADARSAT-1 is Canada’s
first Earth observation satellite. RADARSAT-1 is providing clients worldwide
with timely and critical data to assist in disaster relief and emergency
rescue efforts. RADARSAT-1 also provides information required by commercial
and scientific users in the fields of agriculture, cartography, hydrology,
forestry, oceanography, ice studies and coastal monitoring.

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Images are available at:
http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/results2.asp?image_id=RSAT-01 et

For information:
AndrÈ Leclair
Senior Communications Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Tel: (450) 926 4370

Jacques 🙂