Hopes Dim for Reviving Radarsat-1

by | Apr 24, 2013

Radarsat-1, which experienced a technical anomaly on March 29, 2013, is owned and operated by the Canadian Space Agency. Radarsat-2, Canada's second synthetic aperture radar Earth observation satellite, is owned and operated by MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.

The Canadian Space Agency announced two weeks ago that Radarsat-1, Canada's first and oldest Earth observation satellite, experienced a technical anomaly. It's unlikely the satellite will recover.

An expert team is trying to determine what's wrong with the aging satellite, which helped set world standards for Earth observation, says Michel Doyon, manager of flight operations for the Canadian Space Agency.

Doyon says it's unlikely the satellite was hit by space trash, which is a growing concern as orbits become more congested.

We're pretty sure it was not debris, Doyon told Postmedia News. The initial indications point to a power problem”we were not able to talk to it.

According to Doyon, Radarsat-2, which was launched in 2007, and other Earth observation satellites should be able to fill the void left by Radarsat-1.

Radarsat-1, which cost about $620 million, has been a great technological success story, the agency says. Launched in 1995, it was designed to operate five years, but was in its 18th year of operation when it blinked out.

It has done a marvelous job, says Doyon.

Image courtesy of Canadian Space Agency.

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