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From: Dan Dubrick
To: All
Date: 2003-07-01 01:26:00
Subject: 6\30 CSA - Canada's First Space Telescope Successfully Launched

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Canadian Space Agency

Press Release
**************************************************

CANADA'S FIRST SPACE TELESCOPE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED INTO SPACE

Saint-Hubert, June 30, 2003 -- The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) today
confirmed the successful launch of its first space telescope from the
Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.  Called MOST
(Microvariability & Oscillations of STars), the telescope was
launched at 10:15 AM EDT, and released into orbit at 11:46 AM EDT on
a Rockot booster operated by Eurockot Launch Services GmbH of Bremen,
Germany.  First built as nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles,
these boosters have been converted to peaceful scientific
applications.

"Canadians can be proud that we have built the world's smallest space
telescope, an instrument that helps us better understand our Universe
by looking at neighboring stars. Canada is yet again at the cutting
edge of space technology," said Marc Garneau, President of the CSA.

MOST is packed in a microsatellite the size and mass of a suitcase,
thanks to innovative Canadian technology.  Despite its modest
dimensions, MOST will make some specialized astronomical observations
beyond the capacity of any other instrument on Earth or in space.
MOST is designed to probe the interior of stars, set a limit on the
age of the Universe, and for the first time, detect light reflected
by little known planets beyond our Solar System.

"As thrilling as it is to see the launch, the real excitement will
start when MOST begins sending its data," said Mission Scientist Dr.
Jaymie Matthews. "We'll witness phenomena in stars and exoplanets
never seen before, which should help us better chart the history of
Earth and our own Sun."

The MOST satellite was built by the University of Toronto Institute
for Aerospace Studies, while the telescope itself was designed and
built by the University of British Columbia, with support Toronto's
CRESTech and Spectral Applied Research. Dynacon Enterprises of
Mississauga is the prime contractor, which built the power system and
developed the satellite's pointing system, whose new, miniaturized
reaction wheels are what make it possible to put such a powerful
instrument in such a small package. 

Once in orbit 820 km above the Earth's surface, MOST will circle the
Earth once every 100 minutes, at a speed of about 27,000 km per hour,
passing over ground stations in Toronto and Vancouver several times a
day. 

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Saint-Hubert,
Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the
Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and
Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services
involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence
in Space; Satellite Communications; Space Technology; Space
Qualification Services; Space Awareness and Education. The Canadian
Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application
of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

- 30 -

For more information:
http://www.space.gc.ca/most

Monique Billette
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Tel: (450) 926-4370
E-mail: monique.billette{at}space.gc.ca

Dr. Jaymie Matthews
Mission Scientist
MOST Space Telescope Project
University of British Columbia
Temporary phone number in Russia: 011-7-501-421-0919 x28126
matthews{at}astro.ubc.ca

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