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Canadian Space Agency says mission of country's first space telescope ending

LONGUEUIL, Que. - The mission of Canada's first-ever space telescope is coming to an end.

The Canadian Space Agency says that after studying the universe for more than 10 years, the suitcase-sized MOST satellite will stop operating Sept. 9.

Originally planned as a one-year project, MOST has helped make Canada a leader in the field of micro-satellites, which are small and inexpensive.

The space agency pointed out in a news release Wednesday that MOST, which cost the federal space program $10 million to develop, has exceeded its objectives.

An agency review in the fall of 2013 recommended the mission be ended.

Since its launch in June 2003, the 60-kilogram satellite has provided data for more than 100 science publications and given astronomers new insight into the behaviour of stars.

It has looked at more than 5,000 stars over its lifetime.

MOST's project head is Jaymie Matthews of the University of British Columbia.

Matthews said in 2013 that MOST has looked at parts of the sky he never thought would be accessible.

MOST stands for "Microvariability and Oscillations of STars" — the type of data the satellite has been collecting while orbiting 820 kilometres above the Earth.

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