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MICROSAT BLITZ
SSTL's 40th satellite platform launch: Sapphire reaches orbit
by Staff Writers
Guildford, UK (SPX) Feb 26, 2013


Sapphire in SSTL's cleanroom Prime contractor, MDA. Credit: SSTL.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is delighted that the Sapphire satellite, developed by prime contractor MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) on an SSTL-150 platform, has been successfully launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India, marking the 40th spacecraft launch for SSTL since 1981.

Dr Matt Perkins, SSTL's CEO commented "We are proud to have been selected to provide the satellite platform, spacecraft control centre, and commissioning operations support for this important mission, which marks the 40th spacecraft launch for SSTL since 1981."

Sapphire is the Canadian Department of National Defence's first dedicated operational military satellite. This space-based electro-optical sensor will track man-made space objects in Earth orbits between 6000 and 40,000 km in altitude as part of Canada's continued support of Space Situational Awareness.

Data from the Sapphire satellite will contribute to the U.S. Space Surveillance Network, enhancing the ability of both countries to detect and avoid the collision of critical space platforms with other satellites or pieces of debris.

SSTL's 150 satellite platform is capable of supporting a wide range of payloads and has over 10 years in-orbit heritage, being previously flown on TopSat, Beijing-1, CFESat and the five-satellite RapidEye constellation.

SSTL are also supporting the commissioning phase of the spacecraft mission by providing operations support both at MDA's operations centre in Canada and also at SSTL's own mission control in Guildford, UK.

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Related Links
Surrey Satellite Technology
Microsat News and Nanosat News at SpaceMart.com






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