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  HOME | Science, Nature & Technology

Spainís PAZ Satellite Launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California Ė Spainís earth-observation PAZ satellite was launched on Thursday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The launch took place at 6:17 am from the base located 250 kilometers (about 155 miles) northwest of Los Angeles.

PAZ finally made it into space after a series of delays and setbacks.

In the past week alone, the satelliteís launch was postponed on three different occasions Ė Feb. 17, Feb. 18 and Feb. 21.

Ten minutes after launch, SpaceX, the company that builds and operates the Falcon 9 rocket, said PAZ had been successfully deployed.

Hisdesat, the satelliteís owner and operator, will confirm later if the spacecraft is functioning correctly.

PAZ is carrying radar technology for both military and civilian use.

Possible applications of the satellite include intelligence gathering; cartography; border monitoring; assessing natural disasters; zoning and planning; and environmental observation.

PAZ will produce up to 100 high-resolution images every day. Thanks to its radar technology, these images can be taken at any time, as there is no need for sunlight or ideal weather conditions.

The satellite weighs some 1,400 kg (3,086.5 lbs) and is five meters (16.4 feet) high and 2.4 meters wide.

PAZ is configured to orbit Earth 15 times a day at an altitude of 514 kilometers (319.4 miles).

The project to build and launch PAZ began in 2007 and its first major setback came in 2015, when a launch from Russia was put on hold because of the conflict with Ukraine over Crimea.

PAZ, along with satellite Ingenio, which is yet to be launched, is part of the Spanish governmentís National Program for Earth Observation.

 

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