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Swedish Satellite mission extended for one more year

The cause of ozone depletion is far more complex than just been the result of CFC emissions. The Canadian Space Agency announced that the OSIRIS instrument (Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System), flying onboard Swedish satellite Odin, will keep providing detailed data relating to ozone depletion for one more year, as the satellite and instruments, including an advanced radiometer for microwave radiation, are still functional after having completed their 2 year initial mission. The OSIRIS instrument, built by Routes AstroEngineering Ltd. from Ottawa, Ontario, started sending scientific data back to Earth in May 2001. These measurements are key to the research done by the Canadian atmospheric science team headed by Dr. E.J. (Ted) Llewellyn of the University of Saskatchewan. Data provided by OSIRIS also helps validate the measurements made by other satellites such as the European Space Agency’s ENVISAT. Furthermore, NASA recently asked to use information provided by OSIRIS to validate data from its upcoming AURA mission. AURA, planned to launch in 2004, will be part of NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) and will study the Earth’s ozone, air quality and climate.

Odin was sent into orbit in February 2001 on a double scientific mission — to study ozone depletion in the Earth’s atmosphere and to search for water and oxygen in interstellar space. This unique satellite can observe stars with great accuracy and can also scan the Earth’s atmosphere at various altitudes. In order to switch from astronomy to an aeronomy mode, using a 3 axes stabilization system to control the pointing direction reorients the satellite. The CSA’s contribution to the Odin mission totals approximately $15 million including some $7 million for the development of the OSIRIS instrument.