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Radarsat 1


Designation 23710 / 95059A
Launch date 4 Nov 1995
Country of origin Canada
Operator Canadian Space Agency
Mission Remote sensing
Perigee/Apogee 783/787 km (polar orbit)
Inclination 98.6°
Period 100 min
Launch vehicle Delta 2 #229
Mass at launch 2750 kg

Launched under the MELVS contract. The satellite is worth C$640 million and the launch about $50 million.

The Canadian Space Agency built and operated the satellite; NASA provided the launch. In exchange, U.S. government agencies had access to all archived Radarsat 1 data and have approximately 15% of the satellite's observing time. Radarsat international was the commercial distributor of Radarsat data worldwide. Lockheed Martin had distribution rights in the United States.

In Sep 1999 the primary pitch momentum wheel started suffering from excessive friction and temperature, and as a result, control was shifted to a back-up wheel. This back-up pitch momentum wheel developed similar problems in Nov 2002 and was taken off-line on 27 Nov, leaving the satellite in a safe and controlled tumble. The service was restored in late December.

End of life

Out of service 29 Mar 2013?
Cause Technical anomaly

External resources


sat-index articles


Canadian Space Agency
Tel: +1-514-926-4436
Fax: +1-514-926-4973

Technical data


Prime contractor Spar Aerospace (Canada)
Mass at launch 3150 kg?
Payload mass 1500 kg
Solar array 18 m span
Stabilization 3-axis
DC power 2200 W
Design lifetime 5 years

15 m long x 1.5 m wide Synthetic Aperture C-band Radar
Resolution: between 30 m and 90 m
On-board storage: 96 MB

Uplink: S-band (2 kbps)
Downlink: S-band (2.5, 2, 4, 32 or 128 kbps)
Another downlink for science data is at: 2230.000 MHz

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