NEOSSat’s 10th anniversary in orbit

Video / February 24, 2023


The NEOSSat micro satellite is the world’s first space telescope dedicated to detecting and tracking asteroids, comets, satellites and space debris. In its ten years in orbit, there have been many highlights for the scientists and engineers working together on the project.

(LS) In space, there's something interesting to watch every day. I guess if I was to pick a couple highlights that really stood out for us, it was the ability to watch NEOSSat watching objects on near miss trajectories approaching us. That was a real scientific milestone for us, to be able to measure this kind of thing from orbit.

(VA) You know, we still continue to deliver hundreds of images every day. And now, there’s 500,000 images in our open data archive at the Space Agency. We have images of asteroids and comets and exoplanets, and the archive includes the interstellar comet that came and visited us in 2019. And the impact of the NASA mission D.A.R.T. on the asteroid Didymos, to deflect its trajectory.

And there is more research planned, as NEOSSat enters double digits.

(LS) NEOSSat was situated in low earth orbit, and it monitors objects that are in deep space. We've progressed to low earth orbit, but one of the things that we need to get a better understanding of is, what's the proximity around the satellite itself? Not just the altitude regime, but what’s around the satellite. So, we're developing technologies to go there. In the future, we are looking towards going to what we call cislunar altitudes. Which is orbits and trajectories that are out near the moon. So, someday in the future, we're going to be looking at experimentation out in deep space.

(VA) And on the astronomy side, CSA is offering astronomy time on the telescope to Canadian astronomers. And that means that Canadian astronomers will define new experiments in asteroids and comets and exoplanets. And I'm really excited to see what comes next for research in this domain from our astronomy community.

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