This Week in Space for Canada: October 9th, 2009

This week in space for Canada is much more boring than last week and will likely not focus on any one specific professional entertainer.

Instead, we're going to highlight those who are moderating space focused policy documents, discussions and commentary, providing access to important information and contributing to the development of new relationships among existing players which may or may not eventually compensate for the seemingly inevitable slow self destruction of the present US government funded American space program.

With that in mind, here are a couple of quick bullet points providing some context to this week in space for Canada.

First of all, Canadian based Project Plowshares and the Secure World Foundation have just released their 2009 Space Security Report on behalf of the Space Security Index. Canadian partners in the study include the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University and the Simons Centre for Disarmament and NonProliferation Research at the University of British Columbia. As well, the project is supported by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Ploughshares Fund and the Erin J.C Arsenault Trust Fund at McGill University. The full document is available for download at no charge on the Space Security Website in the publications section for those who'd like to take a closer look. As a personal aside, it's a useful read.

Secondly, for those who argue that space activities are essentially a research and development subset of the larger aerospace industry, we also make mention of the upcoming Aerospace Industries Association of Canada Annual General Meeting being held October 14th and 15th in Ottawa which is focusing on "positioning for recovery in an era of economic uncertainty."

Perhaps the AIAC business people should coordinate with the people organizing the upcoming Canadian Science Policy Conference scheduled for October 28th to 30th in Toronto which is focused on attracting academics and others with "an interest in the intersection of policy with science and technology." Speakers include Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear, Minister for Training John Molloy and conservative populist Preston Manning.

Or maybe the business people, the academics and the politicians will all meet together at the Canadian Space Society, which is in the midst of winnowing down the forty plus abstracts sent by potential presenters down to a workable number for the 2009 Canadian Space Summit, scheduled for November 21st and 22nd at the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario. According to organizers, the final line up for the summit should be competed over the next week or so.

And finally, no week in space for Canada is complete without a little bit of encouragement for the people who actually do things like the "Engineering students build moon dirt digging robot for NASA competition" profiled in the October 9th edition of the Vancouver Sun. These student engineers, and their slightly older, likely graduated colleagues are the people everyone else being profiled this week, should really be focusing on.

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Chuck Black is the 2009 Secretary of the Canadian Space Commerce Association, a member of the Canadian Space Society, active in the International Association of Space Entrepeneurs and looking for the next big opportunity to make a little money off the high frontier. I live in Toronto, Ontario and can be reached at chuck_black < at > sympatico.ca.>