SpaceX has a launch scheduled today from California’s Vandenberg Air Force base, currently targeting a launch window of 14 minutes that opens at 7:17 AM PT (10:17 AM ET). The RADARSAT Constellation mission will carry a constellation of three satellites to low-Earth orbit, built by MDA for use by the Government of Canada in observing Canadian territory and surrounding ocean, with the added ability of being able to also provide imagery from anywhere around the world on top of its primary purpose.
The Government of Canada will make use of the new satellites’ capabilities to generate accurate maps of the sea ice present in Canada’s oceans and across the Great Lakes to help map and navigate those bodies of water for commercial interests. The satellites also have receivers on board to help them tag and ID any seafaring “ships of interest,” according to the mission description. Other uses for the imagery captured by the satellites including helping farmers boost yields from crops will reducing energy consumption, and assisting with the handling of disasters including wild fires.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket to be used in this mission was flown once before – and only a few months ago in March, when it was used in an uncrewed demonstration mission for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.
Currently, the spacecraft is vertical at the launch pad awaiting the launch window. A backup window is set for Thursday, June 13 at 7:17 AM PT. The webcast above should go live around 15 minutes prior to the lift scheduled for today at 7:17 AM PT.