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Canada's First Space Telescope to Ride a "Rockot"

a very big bell

Saint-Hubert - Nov 20, 2001
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Eurockot Launch Services of Bremen, Germany, today announced the signing of a Launch Service Agreement for Canada's MOST (Microvariability & Oscillations of STars) microsatellite. MOST, carrying Canada's first space telescope, is scheduled to be launched in October 2002 as part of a multiple payload mission from Plesetsk, Russia, on an SS-19 based launch vehicle called Rockot.

"MOST is a unique and exciting space astronomy mission involving Canadian government, scientists and industry," said Mr. Barry Wetter, Director General of the CSA's Space Science Branch. "The signing of this launch agreement with Eurockot is a major step toward seeing this project to fruition."

The MOST project uses innovative Canadian technology to enable a cost-effective space science mission involving a small telescope no bigger in diameter than a pie plate, carried on a microsatellite about the size of a small suitcase. The total weight is only 60 kilograms. The telescope will help set a limit on the age of the Universe and probe the properties of planets around other stars.

Funded and managed by the CSA's Space Science Branch under its Small Payloads Program, the MOST project is a co-operative Canadian scientific partnership. Dynacon Enterprises Limited of Mississauga, Ontario, is the prime contractor. The telescope is being developed by the University of British Columbia (UBC) while the satellite is being assembled at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS).

Other key partners include the Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology (CRESTech) of Toronto, Spectral Applied Research of Concord, Ontario, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). The Principal Investigator, Prof. Jaymie Matthews of UBC, leads a team of scientists from across Canada, the United States and Austria.

The Canadian Space Agency is providing $8.5 million to fund the development of the satellite and ground control station, the launch and operations. An additional $1.2 million in support to UTIAS was provided by the Ontario government through its Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund.

Eurockot Launch Services of Bremen, Germany, is a joint venture of Western Europe's Astrium and Russia's Khrunichev space technology companies and provides launches for operators of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites using the Russian SS-19 based Rockot launch vehicle. Eurockot will use the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, which was commissioned in 2000.

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Eurockot Wins Launch Contract For Japanese Satellite
Tokyo- Nov 5, 2001
The launch of the SERVIS -1 spacecraft will be performed with the Rockot launch vehicle, Eurockot Launch Services of Bremen, Germany announced today following the signing of a Launch Service Agreement with the Institute for Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer (USEF) of Tokyo, Japan.