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March 2012 Archives



Today's budget offered $5.2 billion in cuts and we now know that 19,200 civil servants will be cut over the next three years with the government asserting that 6,000 of those will be through attrition.


Today is budget day and the government has been clear that this budget will be about cuts to many programs. What does it mean for the space sector?


On his latest stop in Japan as part of an Asian tour promoting all things Canadian, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced several initiatives with the Japanese government that includes a new Canada-Japan Memorandum for Promotion of Space Cooperation.

For six weeks in Ontario, NASA scientists and engineers lead a field campaign to study the science and mechanics of falling snow. The datasets retrieved will be used to generate algorithms which translate what the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core satellite "sees" into precipitation rates, including that of falling snow. Ground validation science manager Walt Petersen gives a summary of the GCPEx field campaign. Field campaigns are critical in improving satellite observations and precipitation measurements. (Video: NASA)

Previous related story: The Science of Falling Snow, an introduction to this study with video.

ESA's third Automated Transfer Vehicle, Edoardo Amald, has been launched from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, with a night-time liftoff at 05:34 CET (04:34 GMT). Edoardo Amaldi is the heaviest payload ever launched by an Ariane rocket. (Video:ESA)


Canada's long awaited launch of the NEOSSat and Sapphire satellites will have to wait a little longer, slipping into a Q3 launch, with an anticipated earliest launch date of mid-July.

On the third day of RRM operations, Dextre stowed the Multifunction tool and Wire-Cutting tool inside the RRM module for future operations. (Video: NASA/CSA).

Day 2 of the initial phase of the joint NASA-CSA Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) ended with a historic moment for Dextre, the Canadian-built robotic handyman on board the International Space Station (ISS). Dextre spent the better part of the day successfully releasing 7 launch locks that fastened 4 tool adapters (built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center) inside the RRM module during their flight to the International Space Station.
(Video: NASA/CSA)

After completing operations with the Multifunction Tool, Canadarm2 repositioned Dextre to cut the first of two wires, each about as thick as four sheets of paper. With surgical precision, and only about a millimetre of clearance, Dextre captured the wire in the Wire-Cutting Tool (1:14-1:32). The Canadian-built robotic handyman then cut the thin wire (1:44-2:03) that fastened a mock gas cap to the RRM module (much like the tether that secures the gas cap on a car. (Video: NASA/CSA)

The second day of Dextre's most demanding mission wrapped up successfully on March 8 as the robotic handyman completed his three assigned tasks. Dextre successfully retrieved, inspected and stowed three of the four specialized tools built specifically for the Robotic Refueling Mission by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre.

This animation provided by the German Space Agency (DLR) shows Arctic ice cover from 1978 to 2010. The past five years have seen the lowest Arctic sea-ice extent since satellite measurements began in the 1970s.

The first day of Dextre's most demanding mission wrapped up successfully on March 7 as the robotic handyman completed his three assigned tasks. Dextre successfully retrieved, inspected and stowed three of the four specialized tools built specifically for the Robotic Refueling Mission by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre.


Less than two weeks after the official launch of the Aerospace Review on February 27th, Executive Director Scott Streiner, at the invitation of the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA), travelled from Ottawa to Toronto yesterday for an informal meeting with members and guests at their bimonthly meeting.


Canada's robotics expertise is on display this week performing tasks never before attempted as part of a collaborative effort with NASA on the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA Public Affairs Officer Dan Huot talks with Alex Janas, robotics operator from the Goddard Space Flight Center, about the Robotic Refueling Mission aboard the International Space Station.


The following article is a free sample from the current issue of Space Quarterly Magazine. It is our hope that if you enjoy this article you will consider subscribing to the magazine.


Scott Streiner who was recently announced as the Executive Director of the Review of Aerospace and Space Programs and Policies or Aerospace Review, as its being called, will speak this Thursday in Toronto at the bimonthly meeting of the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA).


The following article is a free sample from the current issue of Space Quarterly Magazine. It is our hope that if you enjoy this article you will consider subscribing to the magazine.


On the heels that Canada has officially signaled its intent to use the International Space Station (ISS) through 2020, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) has announced a contract amendment with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Amazing video of a night pass by the International Space Station (ISS) over Canada.
Visible are the cities of Vancouver and Seattle, the Rocky Mountains and the aurora borealis (or northern lights).

The images were taken on February 4. The snowy Canadian landscape was lit by a near Full Moon. Look for the Manicougan Crater in Quebec near the end of the video. This and other videos as well as the individual images which make up the video are available here.


The Canadian north's need for reliable satellites was vividly illustrated in October 2011, when a software error aboard Telesat satellite Anik F2 caused it to malfunction.


The latest edition of Space Quarterly magazine was released on March 1. This issue is our biggest effort to date with 17 articles covering a wide range of topics including a focus on military space.

Lately, the International Space Station has been flying through geomagnetic storms, giving astronauts an close-up view of the aurora borealis just outside their windows. Courtesy NASA.

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios. In the thirteenth edition we look at an image of West Africa's coast along the Atlantic Ocean, pictured in the first image from Envisat's MERIS instrument nearly a decade ago.


The leaders of the five space agencies which run the International Space Station (ISS) concluded their meetings in Qubec City with a joint release and press conference. During their meetings, they discussed the current use of the ISS and the potential for future joint space missions.