Canadian Space Agency (CSA) technologist Eric Bottriell and Microsat Systems Canada Incorporated (MSCI) electrical engineer Sylvain Legault prepare NEOSSat for thermal vacuum testing in CSA's David Florida Lab test facility at Shirleys Bay campus, Ottawa, Ontario. (JANICE LANG/DRDC handout/QMI Agency)
CALGARY - Scientists at the University of Calgary are hoping for a bird’s eye view of the space between our planet and the Sun with Monday’s launch of the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat).
Once it reaches about 800 km above us, the suitcase-sized NEOSSat will take a Sun-synchronous orbit, and point its 15 cm Maksutov telescope between 45 and 49 degrees from our planet in the search for asteroids — and possibly comets.
“We’re interested in asteroids for different reasons,” said Alan Hildebrand, an associate professor in the department of geoscience at the U of C who is heading up the project.