Video Caption: On Sunday, Sept. 29th, SpaceX successfully completed the demonstration mission of its upgraded Falcon 9 rocket, delivering the CASSIOPE, CUSat, DANDE and POPACS satellites to their targeted orbits. Read more about the mission at www.spacex.com/news.
Longueuil, Quebec, September 29, 2013 (CSA PR) – The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is proud to announce that Canadian satellite, Cascade Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) was successfully launched today at noon (12:00 p.m. EDT). Lift off took place from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
CASSIOPE is the first Canadian hybrid satellite to carry a dual mission in the fields of telecommunications and scientific research. The main objectives are to gather information to better understand the science of space weather, while verifying high-speed communications concepts through the use of advanced space technologies.
It’s been a long, hard road to space for Canada’s CASSIOPE satellite, which now sits atop a Falcon 9 launch vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California waiting for engineers to resolve anomalies discovered in the rocket’s first stage engines.
The 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) spacecraft was originally booked in 2005 on SpaceX’s smaller Falcon 1 rocket, with an expected launch in 2008. Delays followed, and then CASSIOPE was shifted to the much larger Falcon 9 launch vehicle after SpaceX canceled the Falcon 1 program. The spacecraft spent years in a storage facility awaiting its turn.
CASSIOPE is now set for launch on a “development flight” of the new Falcon 9 version 1.1, which features about a half dozen significant changes over its predecessor. Any time a launch provider makes even one significant alteration in a booster, it increase the chances of something going wrong. To make a multiple ones and test them all at once involves major risks.