Canadian Launches Satellite to Study Space Storms

By @snksounak on
Credits: Commons/Flickr/Ignacio García

Credits: Commons/Flickr/Ignacio García

The latest space mission of Canada was inaugurated by the successful launch of Cascade SmallSat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE), a space satellite weighing 481 kg.

The scheduled launch of CASSIOPE was at noon EDT on the top of a rocket which was built by a private launch provider, Space X. The Canadian Space Agency is one of the very first clients of the commercial launch provider. It was at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Scientists expect to get in touch with the satellite around 2 p.m. (EDT).

The Canadian Space Agency announced it first about a decade back that CASSIOPE would try to explore weather conditions from above the atmosphere in the ephemeral realm. CASSIOPE is designed to study the Aurora Borealis from the other side of the vision.

A relatively small-sized hybrid satellite, CASSIOPE has more than one mission to complete. It took $63 million to develop CASSIOPE which will record data about storms in the space.

CASSIOPE is going to focus on the interaction between the ionosphere and the sun, according to Greg Enno from the University of Calgary. It is going to study how solar storms affect satellite navigation, radio communications and other technologies which are ground based.

Mr Enno explained the importance of the launch in one interview. He said that GPS users are affected by the magnetic field of the atmosphere which gets walloped by the heaps of energy sent by the sun. The positions are changed by it. This, according to Mr Enno, is one among the reasons behind the inability to land aircrafts using GPS.

The Northern Lights, which are caused by the entry of particles and plasma off the sun into the ionosphere, are also responsible for affecting hydroelectricity systems. Quebec suffered a blackout for many days in 1989 due to the same.

CASSIOPE is going to be on the mission for 2 years. The collected data will make a positive impact on research.

(Video source: YouTube/SpaceVidsNet)

Join the Discussion