Space Situational Awareness Satellites

Orbits


2016 – Canada: Sapphire and NEOSSat

Two low Earth orbiting Canadian satellites, Sapphire and NEOSSat, provided spaceborne space situational awareness (SSA) for Canada during 2016. While they are both SSA satellites, they fulfill different SSA missions.…

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2015 – Canada: Sapphire and NEOSSat

Canadian SSA operations are conducted using two satellites: Sapphire and NEOSSat. The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) uses Sapphire, which moves around the Earth in a sun-synchronous orbit to…

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2012 – Canada: Sapphire

The ability to minimize false detections of missile launches is a feature of Canada’s Sapphire spacecraft, launched in February 2013. The C$## million (US$## million) spacecraft, which features a unique…

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2013 – U.S.: SBSS

The U.S. Space Based Surveillance System (SBSS) satellite, launched in 2010, uses an optical sensor to detect objects in space as it orbits around Earth. It has an expected lifespan…

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2013 – Canada: Sapphire

The ability to minimize false detections of missile launches is a feature of Canada’s Sapphire spacecraft, launched in February 2013. The C$## million (US$## million) spacecraft, which features a unique…

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2011 – U.S.: SBSS

In 2010, the United States launched the first Space Based Space Surveillance satellite (SBSS-1) for its Space Surveillance Network. From its LEO orbit, SBSS-1 supplements ground-based equipment that tracks more…

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2010 – U.S.: SBSS

Another notable launch in 2010 was the first Space Based Space Surveillance satellite (SBSS-1) for the U.S. Space Surveillance Network. This branch of U.S. Strategic Command is tasked with detecting,…

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