April 2012 Archives

Last Monday, April 23rd, Canadian Space Agency President Steve MacLean was the guest luncheon speaker at the International Polar Year 2012 conference being held in Montreal. Below is the transcript of that speech. Of note, MacLean once again referred to some of Canada's current and possible future satellites as "part of that (Canada) strategic infrastructure".

Early Thursday morning at 5.47 a.m. Indian local time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the Indian built RISAT-1 earth observation satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. During the post-launch briefing ISRO chairman Dr K. Radhakrishnan said that the next Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launch will be for the French SPOT-6 satellite in August.

Coming on the heels of the annual Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) annual ASTRO meeting on Quebec City this week is the Toronto Branch annual dinner meeting and awards night. This years featured speaker is Dr. David Kendall who will speak on Canada's Future in Space - Building the Next Generation.

He's piloted the fastest planes, flown on two space shuttle missions and been the first Canadian to walk in space. Now Chris Hadfield is preparing for the mission of a lifetime. Source: Global's 16x9

At the annual Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) meeting being held in Quebec City this week, the Canadian Space Agency honoured former Canadian Space Agency President William 'Mac' Evans with the John H. Chapman Award of Excellence.

SpaceRef had the opportunity for a brief conversation with Chummer Farina at the 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Mr. Farina is vice-president of policy, external and government relations, communications and public affairs at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Our discussion revolved around the current status of the Canadian Space Agency and some of the milestones being celebrated in 2012 by Canada as a space nation.

While a recent agreement signed between Canada's and Japan's space agencies is an extension of previous work, a JAXA vice-president noted at the National Space Symposium that the two countries could collaborate on launch opportunities as a result of the memorandum of understanding (MOU).

With the prospect of a weaker domestic market for Canada's space sector companies, foreign markets become all that more important. Which is why this past week many Canadian companies trekked to Colorado Springs, Colorado for the annual National Space Symposium.

April 20, 2012 - Toronto, Ontario - Space Quarterly magazine, a publication of the SpaceRef International Group, has been chosen as the magazine for the Canadian Space Society as a benefit to its members.

The European Space Agency (ESA) lost contact this week with one of their key earth observation satellites, Envisat, which over its lifespan has provided data to more than 4000 projects in 70 countries. Under a provision with the Canadian Space Agency as part of the Canada - European Space Agency Cooperation Agreement, Canada will provide data from the RADARSAT-1 satellite to fill in the gap for some of ESA's customers.

It should not have come as a surprise, after all everyone had been warned for months that the budget would see cuts. The fact that the government is spinning the cuts as "savings" still doesn't change the facts, this budget is a tough one for many and in particular the space sector.

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has announced that Toronto will host the 65th International Astronautical Congress in 2014. This is a coup for Canada and comes at a time when the space sector is at a significant crossroads.