SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch SAOCOM 1B and the GNOMES-1 Earth observation satellites, along with the Sequoia SAR smallsat.
It will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Kennedy Space Center, in Florida United States.
SAOCOM 1B is the second of two identical radar observation satellites developed by CONAE.
This follows the SAOCOM 1A satellite launched in October 2018 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The satellite’s purpose is to scan the Earth with an L-band steerable synthetic aperture radar.
This is to enable all-weather imagery of the planet day and night. Radar imagers can see through clouds and are effective 24 hours a day but optical cameras are hindered by clouds and darkness.
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Enclosed in the fairing are also two smallsats: GNOMES-1 and Sequoia.
The GNOMES-1 satellite is a navigation and occultation measurement satellites and is the first of 20 satellites to be launched for this constellation.
It will be used to provide weather forecasting, climate research, and space weather monitoring services.
The Sequoia is an Earth observation satellite, and is the first satellite of six in the “Whitney” constellation.
The main goal of this constellation is to provide sub-half meter imagery that has both low noise and high contrast. Little is known about the use of this satellite.
When it launches with SAOCOM 1B, the Falcon 9 rocket head south from Cape Canaveral to deploy the spacecraft into a polar orbit 385 miles (620 kilometers) above Earth. The flight will be the first rocket launch from Florida’s Space Coast since 1960 to target a polar orbit.
The GNOMES microsatellite is the first of a planned fleet of around 20 small spacecraft being developed by PlanetiQ to collect radio occultation data by measuring the effects of the atmosphere on signals broadcast by GPS, Glonass, Galileo and Beidou navigation satellites. The information can yield data on atmospheric conditions useful in weather forecasts.
Courtesy of SpaceX
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