Ball Aerospace Earth Survey Satellite Wraps Up 17-Year Mission; Cary Ludtke Comments

Cary Ludtke
Cary Ludtke

A Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.-built satellite has concluded its Earth monitoring mission after 17 years in space after initially being intended for a five-year mission.

Radarsat-1 launched in 1995 for the Canadian government to collect images of Earth’s geologic features by circling the planet every 101 minutes, Ball Aerospace said Thursday.

The Radarsat-1 was the company’s first fixed-price and commercial spacecraft bus and was also its first international spacecraft.

“It was a great learning experience in principal areas of the company’s evolving business approach, particularly in developing the know-how to execute on commercial, fixed-price programs,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager of the company’s operational space business unit.

Radarsat-1 was the first satellite to complete a radar survey of Antartica and circled the planet once every 101 minutes.

Canada collected the images to manage planetary resources and gain insights into Earth’s oceans, ice, weather and vegetation.

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