Indian rocket launches asteroid-hunting satellite

The two BRITE nanosatellites are part of a planned constellation that is expected to eventually number six satellites in all once complete.Another Canadian satellite was launched today as well. SAPPHIRE, Canada's first military satellite is a small spacecraft designed to monitor space debris and satellites within an orbit 3,728 to 24,855 miles above Earth. The satellite is expected to augment the U.S. military's existing Space Surveillance System."It is with great pleasure that I announce that Canada's Sapphire satellite has been successfully launched," Defense Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement. "Sapphire is a sound investment that will help safeguard billions of dollars of space assets, in fields such as telecommunications, weather, search and rescue, and global positioning systems."The other satellites launched on India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle Monday were a mixed bag of spacecraft and missions. They included:AAUSAT3:A small science satellite developed in Denmark and built by students from Aalborg University.STRaND-1:The first smartphone-powered satellite ever launched into space. The Android phone that functions as the satellite's brain will run four apps that will take photos from the satellite, test the Earth's magnetic field, monitor the health of the satellite, and allow people around the world to upload videos that will play in space on the phone.Monday's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C20 mission is India's first rocket launch of 2013.Follow Miriam Kramer on Twitter@mirikrameror We're also on FacebookGoogle+.Copyright 2013, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or All rights reserved. href='' - -