|This article is outdated. (October 2011)|
CASSIOPE is a satellite project of the Canadian Space Agency. Planned for launch in an elliptical polar orbit in 2013, it will carry a commercial communications system called Cascade and a scientific experiment package called ePOP (enhanced Polar Outflow Probe). This combination gives rise to the acronym CASSIOPE, from "CAscade, SmallSat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer".
CASSIOPE Satellite 
The University of Calgary's Institute for Space Research will lead the project. The satellite instruments will gather data on Solar storms in the upper atmosphere. These storms give rise to the Polar aurora or "northern lights" seen in the skies in northern latitudes. While these wavy monsters may offer a thrilling night time spectacle, they can interfere with radio communications, GPS navigation, and other space-based systems. The eight scientific instruments aboard CASSIOPE will help scientists understand "solar weather" and eventually plan for measures to mitigate its deleterious effects.
The commercial payload will provide a secure digital store-and-forward file delivery service, exploiting the fact that CASSIOPE passes over much of the globe 15 times per day. It is often described as a courier service, with the customers using a small parabolic antenna of one or two meters (three or six feet) to upload or download files at a rate of 1.2 gigabits per second. The storage capacity will be between 50 and 500 gigabytes and the "delivery" time will be about 90 minutes, depending on the pickup and deposit points on the globe.
Falcon 9 launch vehicle 
The launch of CASSIOPE will be the sixth launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and will be the first launch of the Falcon 9 v1.1 version of the rocket. The launch will include a number of launch mission firsts, including:
- first use of the upgraded Merlin 1D engines, generating approximately 56 percent more sea-level thrust than the Merlin 1C engines used on all previous Falcon 9 vehicles
- first use of the significantly longer first stage, which was lengthened to accommodate the larger propellant tanks needed to carry propellant for the more powerful engines
- the nine Merlin 1D engines on the first stage are arranged in an octagonal pattern with eight engines in a circle and the ninth in the center
- first launch from SpaceX' new launch facility, Space Launch Complex 4, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and will be the first launch over the Pacific ocean utilizing the facilities of the Pacific test range.
- first Falcon 9 launch to carry a satellite as its primary payload. Each prior Falcon 9 launch was of a Dragon capsule or a Dragon-shaped test article, though the two operational CRS launches did carry micro-satellites as secondary payloads. SpaceX has previously successfully launched a satellite on the Falcon 1, Flight 5 mission.
- first launch to have a jettisonable payload fairing, which introduces the risk of an additional separation event.
Post-mission launch vehicle testing 
In an arrangement unusual for launch vehicles the first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will conduct a propulsive-return over-water test after the second stage with the CASSIOPE payload separates from the booster. As part of the test program for the SpaceX reusable rocket launching system, the CASSIOPE mission first stage booster will do a burn to slow it down and then a second burn just before it reaches the water. SpaceX intends to conduct such tests on every Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle and "will continue doing such tests until they can do a return to the launch site and a powered landing. ... [They expect several] failures before they 'learn how to do it right.'"
- Main Page - Mediawiki-meso
- e-POP Project Schedule
- "CASSIOPE's ePOP probe will study upper atmosphere". Canadian Space Agency.
- Foust, Jeff (2013-03-27). "After Dragon, SpaceX’s focus returns to Falcon". NewSpace Journal. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- Lindsey, Clark (2013-03-28). "SpaceX moving quickly towards fly-back first stage". NewSpace Watch. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
Further readings 
- Yau, A. W.; James, H. G.; Hirahara, Masfumi; Miyoshi, Yoshizumi; Terada, Naoki; Mukai, Toshifumi; Shinohara, Iku (2009). "CASSIOPE Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) Small Satellite Mission: Space Plasma Observations and International Collaborations". AIP Conference Proceedings. p. 192. doi:10.1063/1.3169287.
- Neutral mass and velocity spectrometer (NMS) on e-POP/CASSIOPE spacecraft
- Yau, Andrew W.; James, H. Gordon (2011). "Scientific Objectives of the Canadian CASSIOPE Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) Small Satellite Mission". The Sun, the Solar Wind, and the Heliosphere. p. 355. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-9787-3_26. ISBN 978-90-481-9786-6.
- Yau, A W; James, H G; Bernhardt, P A; Cogger, L L; Enno, G A; Hayakawa, H; King, E P; Knudsen, D J et al. (2009). "The Canadian Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) Mission:". Data Science Journal 8: S38. doi:10.2481/dsj.8.S38.