Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Canada advances into the final stage of RADARSAT Constellation program

Officials confirmed that the expensive RADARSAT Constellation project of the Canadian government will be launching its final stage, despite the costs which have grown from $600 million to more than $1 billion. Christian Paradis, the Federal Industry Minister and the one responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), would be announcing the plans on Wednesday.

In a statement, Paradis said that the Canadian government guarantees that they have necessary tools to monitor and manage resources, assert the nation’s sovereignty, and protect the vast territory and coastal areas. He added that the first-class RADARSAT Constellation Mission keeps Canada at the cutting edge of design and operation of radar satellites.

Established in 2005, the RADARSAT project was contracted out to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to develop the program. The high-end satellites will be used for maritime surveillance, disaster management and environmental monitoring of Canada’s huge land mass, oceans and coastal approaches at least once per day, and up to four times daily in the high Arctic. It is scheduled to be launched between 2016 and 2017. Recently, MDA handed over a revised proposal to the government for the construction phase of the RADARSAT project.

“Canada has a hard-won reputation for expertise in a highly competitive global environment. Through strategic investments in R&D and space, our Government is fostering industrial innovation, promoting commercialization, creating high-quality jobs, and positioning our industry for continued growth in the global economy,” Minister Paradis added.

Officials from MDA and the Canadian Space Agency will join Christian Paradis at the company’s satellite systems office to make “a significant announcement.”

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