Everyday Benefits for Canadians

Astronaut

In the history of our modern world, few events rival those of the field of space in terms of its ability to induce entrepreneurial drive, spur scientific discovery, and generate national pride. We recall how the Soviets reveled in the prestige of Sputnik in 1957, how the Canadians entered the race with the launch of Alouette-1 in 1962, and how the world marveled as the Americans landed astronauts on the moon in 1969.

Today we remain captivated by a space race now driven not by rivalry but by the ideal of cooperation. The International Space Station exemplifies this new drive with nations from around the globe working together in the realization of this, the largest science and technology project in the history of humanity.

The most notable long-term investment in these partnerships: the creation of opportunities that instill in our youth a recognition and motivation that they, too, can play a role in future scientific and technological breakthroughs.

This new era of space is marked by a transition from space-based to earth-based applications. To an increasing degree, we are using products and services in which space research and development have played a significant role in helping to advance. These include television broadcasting, weather forecasting, mobile communications, water purification, heart monitors, ultrasound scanners, laser surgery, resource mapping, navigation, protective clothing, advanced structural design, robotics, solar power, sewage treatment, even shock-absorbing athletic shoes. The list is long - the positive contribution to our quality of life is real.

Since its creation in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has set out to ensure that all Canadians learn and benefit from the innovations of space science and technology to the greatest extent possible. Its objectives are to support and promote a highly competitive space industry and address the needs of Canadian society. With almost half of Canada's GDP growth in the knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy, the Canadian Space Program is a key driver behind continued leadership on the world stage, new opportunities for industry and scientists, and long-term social and economic benefits for all Canadians.