Canadian Space Milestones
The following list highlights significant dates of the Canadian space history as well as major events and news of interest related to Canada's activities in space.
1830 - 1900
Sir Edward Sabine establishes the first magnetic observatory at University of Toronto, to study the proposition made by Edmund Halley in 1716 that northern lights were formed according to the Earth's magnetic field. Sabine is first to determine that magnetic disturbances occur worldwide and are related to the number and strength of sunspots.
This same year, the Meteorological Service of Canada is set up, also at the University of Toronto.
The First International Polar Year, organized on an international basis, includes measurements of meteorological, magnetic, and auroral phenomena in northern Canada.
1900 - 1930
During World War I, the Government of Canada decides to coordinate national scientific research with the creation of the Honorary Advisory Council on Scientific and Industrial Research, which after June 19, 1925, as the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC).
John Herbert Chapman, who will gain wide recognition as the father of the Canadian Space Program is born in London, Ontario. He will be instrumental in initiating and directing the successful Alouette/ISIS scientific Earth satellite program.
1930 - 1950
Second International Polar Year (IPY).
Canada participates by establishing measurement field stations of meteorological, magnetic and auroral phenomena beyond the Arctic Circle. New technology, unknown during the first IPY 50 years earlier, makes use of radio-equipped balloons and kites to extend measurements high above the Earth's surface.
Radio techniques are used for the first time in Canada to demonstrate the correlation between solar radiation and the ionosphere.
1950 - 1960
The Defence Research Board, founded five years earlier, merges two National Research Council laboratories (Radio Propagation Lab and Electronics Lab) into the Defense Research Telecommunications Establishment in Shirley's Bay, west of Ottawa. The latter is the predecessor of the Communications Research Centre.
The Defence Research Board builds the Defence Research Medical Laboratories in Downsview, Ontario, that will merge, in 1971, with the Royal Canadian Air Force Institute of Aviation Medicine, to form the Defense and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine (DCIEM).
International Geophysical Year.
From July 1957 to December 1958, is a period of maximum solar activity, and the science community worldwide conducts research to better understand Earth's physics and the interactions between the Sun and our planet.
During this period, Canada and the U.S. build the Churchill Research Range in northern Manitoba, for launching suborbital sounding rockets that will probe the upper atmosphere. Until it is decommissioned in 1989, more than 3,500 suborbital flights are launched there.
Opening of the Space Age with the successful launch of the Soviet Sputnik 1 satellite, the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. The small 58-cm. aluminium sphere, launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on an R-7/Semiorka rocket, circles the globe for three months before burning upon re-entry in the atmosphere.
Within hours of its launch, John Chapman and fellow scientists at Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment are the first to record Sputnik 1's beeps.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officially begins operations. Two months earlier, on July 29, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower had approved a bill voted by Congress to create the first-ever civilian space agency.
During its annual meeting in Washington, the International Council of Scientific Unions decides to create the COSPAR organization (Committee on Space Research) to extend space research that had been carried out under the various International Geophysical Year programs. Canada is a founding member. The charter is adopted in Amsterdam the following year, on November 13, 1959.
A Nike-Cajun sounding rocket is launched from the Churchill Range with the first Canadian science payload.
NASA approves a Canadian proposal, submitted by the Defence Research Board, to build the Alouette 1 satellite for the study of the ionosphere. NASA agrees to launch this first Canadian satellite.
The Prince Albert Radar Laboratory is inaugurated in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. On this day, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and President Dwight Eisenhower have a telecommunication conversation by means of a radar signal that bounces back from the moon.
1960 - 1965
Launch of U.S. navigation satellite Transit 2A with a cosmic noise receiver, the first Canadian hardware in space.
Deployment in space of Echo 1, a U.S. satellite-balloon used as a passive communications satellite that was the first to provide a two-way telephone conversation. Echo 1, a 30-m inflatable structure, orbits the Earth at an altitude of 1600 km. One of its receiving stations is in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
After completing one orbit around the Earth during a 108-minute flight on his Vostok 1 spacecraft, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, a 27-year-old pilot, makes history as the first human being in space.
Astronaut Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space after a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard his Freedom 7 capsule. The communication antenna of the spacecraft is Canadian, and is known as STEM (storable tubular extendible mechanism), built by de Havilland Aircraft of Downsview, Ontario.
Astronaut John H. Glenn achieves the first U.S. orbital manned flight when his Friendship 7 capsule, also equipped with a Canadian-built STEM antenna, circles the Earth three times during a five-hour space flight.
With the Alouette launch, Canada became the third nation, after the Russian and American superpowers, to design and build its own satellite. Alouette 1 was launched on a Thor-Agena B rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on an 80-degree-inclination orbit, at an altitude of 1000 km. (Official local date of the launch is September 28, 10:30 p.m., PDT.) Designed with a one-year lifetime, the topside sounder will transmit useful data for over 10 years. It studies the ionosphere, the electrically-charged layer of the upper atmosphere that can affect long-distance radio transmission. Alouette 2 is launched on November 29, 1965.
Launch of Relay-1, a communication satellite built by RCA Limited. The transponder onboard the spacecraft, provided by a microwave group at the RCA plant in Montreal, is the first Canadian-built hardware in a communications satellite.
Memorandum of Understanding between the Defence Research Board and NASA for the ISIS (International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies) program, a follow-on of the Alouette program.
Vostok 6 carries Valentina Tereshkova, the 26-year-old cosmonaut who becomes the first woman in space. In her three-day voyage, she flies around the Earth 48 times.
First weather photo transmitted in Canada from U.S. satellite TIROS 8.
Creation, in Washington, D.C., of the International Satellite Telecommunication Organization (Intelsat). Canada is a founding member.
1965 - 1970
During mission Voskhod 2, cosmonaut Alexei Leonov performs a 24-minute EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity), thus becoming the first human being to walk in space.
Launch of Early Bird (Intelsat 1), first commercial communication satellite, used by the Canadian Overseas Telecommunications Corporation for transatlantic communications (in 1975, it would become Teleglobe Canada).
A Thor-Agena B rocket launches Canada's Alouette 2 from Vandenberg AFB, to continue ionospheric research from space. This first of the ISIS (International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies) scientific satellites will compile useful data on the ionosphere for almost 10 years. It was designed and built by Canada, but launched by NASA.
In February, John Herbert Chapman, the leading manager of the Alouette program, submits a report to the federal government into which he recommends the creation of a national space agency.
Spar Aerospace Limited is formed out of de Havilland Aircraft's Special Products and Advanced Research division.
John Chapman presents a White Paper on satellite communications to the Government entitled, "A Domestic Satellite Communications System for Canada."
Launch of ISIS 1. More sophisticated than the Alouette spacecraft, ISIS is designed to make a comprehensive study of the upper section of the ionosphere, and to produce the first picture of the aurora borealis (northern lights) from space. Launch of ISIS 2 on March 31, 1971.
At 10:56 p.m. EDT on this historic Sunday, U.S. astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander of mission Apollo 11, becomes the first man to set foot on the Moon. Fifteen minutes later, Buzz Aldrin climbs down the ladder of the lunar module to join his commander. Using landing gear built by Héroux Aerospace of Longueuil, Quebec, the Eagle had touched down more than six hours earlier (4:17 p.m.) in the Sea of Tranquility. Apollo 11, is launched July 16, and splashes down on the Pacific Ocean on July 24.
The federal government announces the creation of Telesat Canada to own and exploit Canadian communication satellites. The government also sets up a Department of Communications that immediately takes over the Communications Research Centre (formerly Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment) and the Interdepartmental Committee on Space.
1970 - 1975
Telesat Canada signs an agreement with Hughes Aircraft of California to build Anik A1, Canada's first communications satellite.
Launch of the ISIS 2 scientific satellite on a Thor-Delta rocket, to continue ionospheric studies performed the two Alouette spacecrafts and ISIS 1. In 1984, years after all Canadian research needs have been fulfilled, the operation of the two ISIS spacecraft is transferred to Japan for additional research.
Creation of the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS).
Memorandum of Understanding is signed between Canada's Department of Communications and NASA to start the CTS (Communications Technology Satellite) experimental communications satellite program, named Hermes upon launch, in 1976.
Dr. Gerhard Herzberg receives the Nobel Prize for his work in molecular spectroscopy. Today, the National Research Council's Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria B.C., is named in honour of this brilliant Canadian scientist.
First Landsat-1 remote-sensing image is acquired in Canada, at the Prince Albert receiving station.
The federal government creates the David Florida Laboratory, an integration and environmental testing facility that will first support the Hermes/CTS program. The laboratory is named in honour of C. David Florida, manager of the ISIS program until 1971.
Alouette 1 ceases activity nine years after its planned termination.
The Anik A1 communications satellite is launched. Canada is the first country with a domestic communications satellite in geostationary orbit.
Launch of Anik A2, Canada's second communications satellite. Anik A2 is launched to bring network radio, TV and improved telephone services to Canadians living in the North.
NASA awards Canada the responsibility of designing, developing, and building the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS) for the Space Shuttle. The result is Canadarm, the 15-metre robotic arm. Canada also invests $100 million for its development contributing the first unit to to the space shuttle program. Four other Canadarms are ordered from industrial main contractor Spar Aerospace Limited of Brampton, Ontario.
1975 - 1980
Anik A3 is launched on a Delta rocket. Telesat Canada accomplishes another world first by teaming Anik A3 with A2 in the same orbital position to permit the still usable channels on each satellite to be operated as if they were onboard the same spacecraft.
Nearly 10 years after launch, Alouette 2 is terminated.
The experimental CTS (Communications Technology Satellite), is named Hermes upon launch, by Science Minister Jeanne Sauvé. The most powerful satellite of the time, Hermes is the first communications satellite to operate in the 14/12-GHz frequency band. In four years of joint operation with the United States, Hermes explores new ways of using satellite technology and paves the way for the development of future direct broadcast satellites.
March to June
Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Western Ontario proceed to telemedicine experiments using the Hermes satellite.
Interplanetary probe Voyager 2 leaves Earth. Canada has played a role in the development of the probe: the telemetry instruments of Voyager 2 are attached to the tip of a Canadian-designed boom. On September 5, a Titan-Centaur rocket launches Voyager 1 that will perform a flyby of Jupiter on March 5, 1979, and Saturn on November 13, 1980. Voyager 2 will reach Jupiter by July 9, 1979, Saturn on August 26, 1981, Uranus on January 24, 1986, and Neptune on August 24, 1989.
Cosmos 954, a large Soviet military reconnaissance satellite powered by a nuclear reactor, survives re-entry into the atmosphere, and crashes over the Northwest Territories, which leads to Operation Morning Light for the search and recovery of radioactive debris.
NASA launches the oceanography satellite Seasat, the first civilian satellite with synthetic aperture radar. Canada sets up the Sursat (Surveillance Satellite) program to use its imagery data. Based on this experience, planning begins for RADARSAT.
Anik B, Canada's fourth communications satellite, is launched atop a Delta rocket. Anik B is the world's first dual-band communications satellite, replacing the Anik A series as a commercial satellite operating in the 6/4-GHz frequencies, and continuing the promising Hermes experiments using six channels in the higher 14/12-GHz range.
Canada and the European Space Agency sign their first five-year cooperation agreement. Canada is a cooperating member state of the European organization.
Creation in London, of Inmarsat, an international organization for satellite communications between sea and land, and for air, land and maritime mobile telecommunications. Canada is a founding member of Inmarsat.
Termination of the Hermes/CTS experimental communications satellite.
1980 - 1985
Canada signs an agreement with European Space Agency to participate in the development and exploitation of Olympus, the largest hybrid communications satellite launched by Western countries. Canada, with an 11% stake in the Olympus program, will supply solar panels, amplifiers, hyperfrequency components, and support assembly, integration and testing at the David Florida Laboratory of the $1-billion spacecraft.
In July, during their annual meeting, the leaders of Canada and other G7 countries agree to create CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites).
The Toronto-based Globe and Mail uses Anik A3 to relay news in computerized form Toronto to Montréal, and later, to Calgary and Vancouver.
Launch of Canadarm aboard Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-2).
Anik D1 is launched atop a Delta rocket. The more capable D series will replace the A and B series, and form the backbone of Canada's domestic satellite communications system until the early 1990s.
The first operational rescue made possible because of the COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue satellite-assisted system set up by United States, USSR, France and Canada.
Because Canadarm performs so well, NASA extends an invitation to fly a Canadian in space. This is the beginning of the Canadian astronaut program.
Anik C3 is deployed out of the cargo bay of Columbia during the first commercial mission of the space shuttle (mission STS-5). Anik C3 carries the equivalent of 32 colour television channels and 21,504 voice circuits. It is the world's first direct broadcast satellite for commercial use, and is more powerful than the previous Anik series, allowing the use of smaller, 1.2-metre receiving dish antennas, and transmissions to city areas without fear of radio interference.
The first operational use of Canadarm deploys the SPAS-01 out of the cargo bay of shuttle Challenger, four days into mission STS-7.
With the help of a payload assist module, Anik C2 is deployed out of Challenger's cargo bay, five days into mission STS-7. C2 followed C3 into orbit because satellites are numbered according to when they are built, not when they are launched. Sally Ride is the first American female astronaut in space.
The first six Canadian astronauts are selected: Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau, Steve MacLean, Ken Money, Robert Thirsk, and Bjarni Tryggvason.
During mission STS-41C aboard space shuttle Challenger, astronauts James Van Hoften and George Nelson do the first on-orbit repair of a satellite, Solar Maximum. Canadarm is used for the seventh time on a space shuttle mission to support spacewalking astronauts and to deploy the Long-Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). This is a platform the size of a school bus that contains 57 materials experiments; three trays are from Canada.
Astronaut Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian in space on mission STS-41G aboard Challenger. As a Payload Specialist, he is responsible for CANEX-1, a set of Canadian experiments. On this mission, Canadarm is operated for the ninth time on a space shuttle flight.
On day 2 of mission STS-51A, the inaugural flight of space shuttle Discovery, Anik D2 is deployed. With sister satellite D1, launched in 1982, it is one of the biggest communications satellites of the time. On the same mission, two stranded communications satellites, Palapa B2 and Westar VI, are the first on-orbit spacecraft retrieved by the space shuttle and returned to Earth.
The Government of Canada approves the definition phase of the RADARSAT-1 remote-sensing satellite program.
1985 - 1990
An Ariane 3 rocket is launched from the space centre in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying Brazil's first communications satellite Brasilsat F1, into orbit. This first Canadian-Brazilian effort to bring the benefits of satellite communications to Brazil is also the first time that a Canadian company, Spar Aerospace, is selected as prime contractor for satellites and ground equipment for an international client.
During the "Clover Summit" in the city of Québec, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney accepts the invitation extended by President Ronald Reagan to take part in the space station project.
Details are released for a Canadian Space Plan, with a funding of $195 million for fiscal year 1985-1986. The Space Plan includes Canada's participation in the space station project and a mobile communications satellite (MSAT).
On day 1 of mission STS-51D, Anik C1 is deployed out of the payload bay of Discovery.
Canada and the U.S. sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the space station project.
November 26 - December 3
During the inaugural flight of Shuttle Atlantis, on mission STS-61B, a Canadian experiment on the manufacturing of mirrors in space is performed. The experiment is designed by Jean-François Deschênes and Daniel Rey, two students at École secondaire Charlebois in Ottawa. Astronauts Jerry Ross and Sherwood Spring perform a spacewalk for the first experiment to assemble space station elements.
Shuttle Challenger explodes in a huge fireball 73 seconds after lift-off, killing all seven crewmembers of mission STS-51L, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. On this mission, Canadarm would have been used to deploy and retrieve a Spartan 203 autonomous platform.
Sweden's Viking spacecraft launched carrying Canada's ultra-violet auroroal imager.
Canada signs international agreements to become full partner of the International Space Station program.
Canada and Japan sign in Tokyo an Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between the two countries.
The National Research Council of Canada creates a Space Division to manage the Canadian Astronaut Program Office (the Astronaut Office is now part of the Canadian Space Agency) and Canada's new Space Station Program.
Canada's GEODE (Gravity Experiment On Detector Elements) is launched on a Maser sounding rocket from the European Space Range in Kiruna, Sweden. The Canadian experiment is to produce cadmium/mercury telluride (CMT) crystals in microgravity.
The Institute of Space and Terrestrial Science (ISTS) is inaugurated at York University as one of Ontario's Centres of Excellence. ISTS is renamed Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology (CRESTech), September 24, 1997.
With Spar Aerospace Limited confirmed as industrial prime contractor, Canada invests $1185 million until year 2000 in a contribution to the Space Station, the Mobile Servicing System.
After a hiatus of nearly three years, Shuttle Discovery lifts off into the Florida sky for mission STS-26R, a mission to deploy a TDRS relay satellite. During this five-day mission, a Canadian fluid experiment, designed by Dr. Don Brooks of the University of British Columbia, is activated and monitored by astronaut George D. Nelson.
On the same day in Washington, D.C., Canada, the European Space Agency, Japan, and the United States sign multilateral and bilateral agreements that officially launch the Freedom International Space Station Program.
A Black Brant 10 three-stage sounding rocket built by Bristol Aerospace is launched from Andoya, Norway, to perform a 15-minute suborbital flight experiment OEDIPUS-A (Observation of Electrical field Distributions in the Ionosphere Plasma: A Unique Strategy).
Launch from ISAS range in Kagoshima of Japan's EXOS-D science satellite (renamed Akebono after reaching orbit), carrying a Canadian-built instrument, the suprathermal ion mass spectrometer. It is the first foreign-built instrument to fly aboard a Japanese spacecraft.
Creation of the Canadian Space Agency; Larkin Kerwin is the first President.
Renewal for 10 years of the Canada-European Space Agency Cooperative Agreement. With status as Cooperative Member, Canada is the only non-European Member State.
Launch of the European Space Agency's experimental communications satellite Olympus, in which Canada participates. Inserted in a geostationary orbit, at 19 degrees longitude west, Olympus provides a test bed for advanced satellite communications technologies with four separate payloads: a two-channel high power direct broadcasting payload; a four-channel Specialized Services Payload; a payload for advanced communications experiments; and a beacon package for propagation experiments. Service is interrupted August 11, 1993 when the satellite loses Earth pointing attitude and begins spinning.
Industry, Science and Technology Canada minister signs a Memorandum of Understanding with colleagues in nine provinces for the RADARSAT Program. Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia agree to invest $52.9 million into the program. The federal government announces that its investment in RADARSAT has reached $330 million.
In Moscow, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signs a Commercial, Science and Technology Agreement covering Canada-USSR space research.
1990 - 1995
Four days into the 12-day mission STS-32, the astronauts of Shuttle Columbia retrieve the LDEF, or Long-Duration Exposure Facility, a school-bus sized platform that had been left in orbit for nearly six years. Three trays on the facility contain material experiments that had been designed by Prof. Rod Tennyson of University of Toronto's Institute of Aerospace Science.
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Roberta Bondar is selected to be a Payload Specialist on mission STS-42/IML-1, a Spacelab mission aboard Discovery that will launch to space January 22, 1992 (see below).
A $146-million contract is awarded to Spar Aerospace for Phase 1 of the RADARSAT program. A $230-million contract follows for Phase 2, June 11, 1991.
Canada invests $15 million in the U.S. FUSE (Lyman Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer) space telescope. Canada provides optical subsystems and will contribute to the exploitation of the satellite data.
On day 2 of the six-day mission STS-31, the Hubble Space Telescope, the first of NASA's Great Observatories, is deployed out of Discovery's cargo bay, with the help of Canadarm. Five Canadian university teams gain access to observation time on the space telescope.
The same day, a Canadian Black Brant 5 suborbital rocket lifts off the White Sands range, in New Mexico, to launch the COBRA (cosmic background radiation) astronomy payload. This Canadian experiment, which consists of a particle detector to measure fossil radiations resulting from the original Big Bang explosion, confirms discoveries made earlier by U.S. astronomy satellite COBE (cosmic background explorer).
For the first time, a Canadian scientific instrument is launched beyond Earth's orbit. The High Flux Telescope (HFT), designed by the National Research Council's Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, is one of many instruments carried on the European Space Agency's Ulysses space probe, deployed out of the cargo bay of Shuttle Discovery, on the first day of mission STS-41. Ulysses, with a mission to study the two poles of the Sun, is the first man-made object to travel in space outside the ecliptic plane of solar orbit. The European probe flies over the Sun's south pole at a distance of 300 million kilometres on September 13, 1994, and climbs to its maximum latitude of 80.2 degrees north of the Sun's equator on Monday, July 31, 1995. The solar probe completed its first orbit of the Sun through its poles April 17, 1998.
Memorandum of Understanding is signed detailing space cooperation between Canada and Russia.
Bill C-16 that officially establishes the Canadian Space Agency in the Government of Canada is passed.
Telesat Mobile of Ottawa and American Mobile Satellite Corporation of Washington, D.C., award a contract to a team formed by Spar Aerospace and Hughes Aircraft of El Segundo, California, to build two MSAT mobile communications satellites.
The federal government awards a $195-million Phase C contract to Spar Aerospace for advanced design of the space station's Mobile Servicing System (MSS).
Anik E2 communications satellite is launched by an Ariane 44P rocket. After the problematic C-band antenna is finally deployed in July, the geostationary satellite becomes operational in September.
During mission STS-37, the 17-ton Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO) is deployed out of Atlantis' cargo bay, with the help of the Canadarm, used for the 23rd time on a space shuttle mission. The GRO, second of NASA Great Observatories, is the heaviest payload ever deployed by the space shuttle. In the middeck of Atlantis, astronauts monitor the BIMDA (Bioserve Instrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispertion Apparatus) series of protein crystal growth (PCG) experiments to which participates Dr. Jurgen Sygusch of University of Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Launch of ERS-1, the first European Earth Observation satellite. Canada has been involved in its development and receives its data, which are downlinked to CCRS receiving stations in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and Gatineau, Quebec.
Space Shuttle Discovery lifts-off for mission STS-48 and the deployment in a 57-degree-inclination orbit of the UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite), the first spacecraft of NASA's Mission To Planet Earth program. The science satellite carries 10 instruments, including Canada's WINDII (Wind Imaging Interferometer), an instrument of which the Principal Investigator is Prof. Gordon Shepherd of Toronto's York University.
Anik E1 is launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 44P rocket.
The 42nd Annual Congress of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) takes place in Montreal, sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency.
1992 is International Space Year
The Canadian Space Agency launches a campaign to hire a second corps of astronauts.
Astronaut Roberta Bondar becomes the second Canadian, and first Canadian woman, in space aboard Discovery (STS-42).
At the White Sands range, in New Mexico, launch of a Canadian Black Brant 9 sounding rocket that carries the CSAR-1 (Canadian Space Agency Rocket) microgravity payload.
The privatization process of Telesat Canada is completed when the federal government sells all remaining shares to Alouette Telecommunications Inc.
Cosmonauts Aleksandr Volkov and Sergueï Krikalev, and German astronaut Klaus-Dietrich Flade return to Earth on Soyuz TM13. Krikalev has spent more than 10 months aboard space station Mir, during the historical events that saw the disbandment of USSR and the emergence of Russia as a new country. The crew is also bringing back a set of 24 Canadian microgravity experiments that were sent to Mir on January 25 .
Dr. Roland Doré, former director of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, becomes the second President of the Canadian Space Agency.
During the inaugural flight of Shuttle Endeavour, astronauts of mission STS-49 proceed to repair the stranded Intelsat-VI communications satellite. Canadarm on its 26th mission, is used extensively to support spacewalks. For the first time, three astronauts walk in space at the same time, performing a record-breaking spacewalk that lasts 8 hours, 29 minutes.
From 5330 application forms, the Canadian Space Agency selects the four candidates who will form the second group of Canadian Space Agency Astronauts. They are: Air Force Capt. Chris A. Hadfield; Julie Payette, an engineer specialized in human-machine interface; Robert Stewart, a geophysicist; and Dr. Daffyd (David) R. Williams, an emergency medical doctor. A week later, Robert Stewart resigns for personal reasons. He is replaced by Air Force Capt. Michael John Mackay.
Astronauts Marc Garneau and newly-selected Chris Hadfield are selected by the Canadian Space Agency to become the first Canadian Mission Specialists. A month later, the two begin training in Houston, along with European Space Agency astronauts Jean-François Clervoy and Maurizio Cheli, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.
July 31 – August 8
For the first time during a mission (STS-46), a non-American Mission Specialist flies on the space shuttle. European Space Agency astronaut Claude Nicollier from Switzerland is then responsible, as Mission Specialist, to deploy the EURECA platform out of the cargo bay of Shuttle Atlantis, operating Canadarm on its 27th mission.
September 12 – 20
During mission STS-47/Spacelab J, Mae Jemison becomes the first African-American woman in space, and Mamoru Mohri, the first professional Japanese astronaut on the space shuttle. Canada's Bread in Space experiment compares the behaviour of bread yeast in the absence of gravity to yeast in normal atmospheric conditions. The experiment is a Canadian Get Away Special (GAS) experiment, performed in a can stored in the cargo bay with little intervention required by astronauts.
A Chinese Long March CZ-2C rocket launches Freja, a Swedish science satellite that carries two Canadian instruments: the Ultra-Violet Auroral Imager (UVAI) and the Cold Plasma Analyser (CPA).
October 22 – November 1
The third Canadian Space Agency astronaut in space, Payload Specialist Steve MacLean, oversees the CANEX-2 set of Canadian experiments on mission STS-52, in particular, the Space Vision System (SVS) using Canadarm, now on its 29th mission. The geodesic satellite LAGEOS is deployed out of the cargo bay of Columbia.
Cosmonauts Anatoly Soloviev and Sergueï Avdeev return to Earth after a 189-day stay on Mir, during which Avdeev activates a Canadian experiment to measure radioactivity in the station environment.
U.S. President Bill Clinton orders an overall restructuring of the Freedom International Space Station Program. On 17 June, the Clinton administration select Option Alpha that will replace Freedom.
End of June
Space Agency headquarters completed in Saint-Hubert (Longueuil), Quebec. The design evokes the space station. The building houses the astronaut training facilities, the RADARSAT Mission Control Room, the MOC (MSS Operation Centre) and labs devoted to life sciences, robotics, space systems, optics, and computer technology. In 1996, the building is officially designated as the John H. Chapman Space Centre, commemorating the scientist Canadians consider the father of their space program.
United States and Russia sign bilateral space agreements to include Russia in the International Space Station Program. During a meeting in Paris, on October 16, the four original partners greet Russia who becomes an official partner, on December 6 in Washington, D.C.
October 18 – November 1
During mission STS-58/SLS-2, a life sciences mission that takes places in the Spacelab module, fitted inside the cargo bay of Shuttle Columbia, astronauts perform three Canadian experiments on the vestibular system designed by Dr. Douglas Watt, director of McGill University's Aerospace Medical Research Unit.
During mission STS-61, the astronauts of Endeavour perform the first Hubble Space Telescope repair and servicing mission. Claude Nicollier operates the Canadarm to deploy the space telescope, and to support the record number of EVAs (five spacewalks) in a single mission.
The outlines of the Second Long-Term Space Plan are released. For the next ten years, the Canadian Space Program will be allocated $2.7 billion, including $500 million as the Canadian contribution to the International Space Station Program and upgraded support facilities for the RADARSAT program. There are also provisions for an Advanced Communications research program, the development of space technologies in partnership with industry and with other space agencies, funding for space science research in Canada, in particular in the areas of atmospheric studies and microgravity, and assignments of Canadian Astronauts for space shuttle missions.
During this second International microgravity laboratory mission (STS-65, aboard Shuttle Columbia), a series of Canadian experiments dealing with physiological changes of the spine in microgravity are performed by the crew. On this mission, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Marc Garneau becomes the first non-American CapCom (Capsule Communicator) at Mission Control in Houston.
Roland Doré resigns as CSA President to become president of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France.
Air Force Major Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut, has just completed Mission Specialist training and is assigned to mission STS-74, the second Shuttle-Mir Docking mission, scheduled to launch November 11, 1995.
William MacDonald (Mac) Evans becomes third President of the Canadian Space Agency, for a five-year mandate.
The CSAR-2 (Canadian Space Agency Rocket-2) mission is launched on a 14-minute suborbital flight from White Sands, New Mexico. CSAR-2 consists of five material processing experiments in microgravity.
1995 - 2000
Dave Williams is selected as the third Canadian Mission Specialist. He starts training in Houston on March 6.
NASA contracts the Russian Space Agency US$190 million for the construction of what would become the first element of the International Space Station, the FGB module, renamed Zarya (Dawn), after its launch November 20, 1998.
Bob Thirsk is assigned as a Payload Specialist for his first space flight, mission STS-78, scheduled to launch June 20, 1996. The Life and Microgravity Spacelab mission will be the longest ever performed by a Canadian Space Agency Astronaut.
Canadian Astronaut Marc Garneau is assigned as a Mission Specialist to his second space flight, mission STS-77. This 10-day mission aboard Shuttle Endeavour will launch to space May 19, 1996.
RADARSAT is launched, making it Canada's first Earth-observation satellite.
A four-stage Black Brant XII sounding rocket lifts-off from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska, to launch the 16-minute Oedipus-C experiment. At an altitude of 869 km, a payload consisting of two masses attached to each other by a conducting tether is released in such a way that the two masses move one km apart.
The fourth Canadian in space, Air Force Maj. Chris A. Hadfield, is not only the first Canadian Mission Specialist, he also is the first Canadian aboard space station Mir when he joins four crewmates on mission STS-74, the second Atlantis-Mir Docking Mission. Hadfield operates Canadarm to build the five-ton Russian Docking Module on the Orbiter Docking System.
In Beijing, the Canadian Space Agency signs an agreement with the China National Space Administration for an eventual cooperation in space science and technology between the two countries.
Third Atlantis-Mir Docking Mission. The astronauts of mission STS-76 proceed to transfer of supplies and experiments to the Russian orbital complex, including the Canadian furnace QUELD 2 (Queen's University experiment in liquid-metal diffusion).
A short circuit in the power supply between one solar array and the communications payload of Telesat's Anik E1 satellite reduces its communications capacity.
An Ariane 42P lifts-off from Kourou to launch into orbit an MSAT mobile communications satellite on behalf of TMI Communications of Gloucester, Ontario.
Russian space station Mir is now complete with the docking of Priroda, the last of its six modules. The 20-ton module, launched three days earlier by a Proton rocket, carries various science hardware, including Canada's Microgravity Isolation Mount (MIM) which protects experiments from vibrations of the spacecraft.
Aboard Shuttle Endeavour, Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian astronaut to fly in space twice, this time as a Mission Specialist on mission STS-77. This mission includes a number of experiments: Spacehab-4, Spartan 207, Inflatable Antenna Experiment, TEAMS. Garneau operates the Canadarm (Unit # 301/45th mission) to retrieve the Spartan 207 platform. He monitors the Commercial Float-Zone Furnace (CFZF), a Canadian Space Agency-led joint project also involving NASA and Germany. It is the first flight of the Aquatic Research Facility, another CSA experiment. In the payload bay of Endeavour, are two Canadian GAScan experiments: ACTORS (Atlantic Canada Thin Organic Semiconductors) and NANOGAS (Nanoporous Crystalline Semiconductors). The Canadian Get Away Special (GAS) GAScan experiments are performed in a can stored in the cargo bay with little intervention required by astronauts.
June 20 – July 7
Bob Thirsk becomes the fifth Canadian in space when he participates as a Payload Specialist on mission STS-78/Life and Microgravity Sciences (LMS), inside the Spacelab module in the cargo bay of Columbia. This 17-day mission is the longest for a Canadian Space Agency astronaut.
Canadian Space Agency Astronauts Steven G. MacLean and Julie Payette are selected to train as Mission Specialists. They move to Houston and join the 1996 class of NASA astronauts for initial training on August 12.
In Ottawa, Industry Canada Minister John Manley and European Space Agency Director General Jean-Marie Luton sign agreements on Canada's part in two European Space Agency programs: the General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) and the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems Programme (ARTES).
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Dave Williams has completed his training as Mission Specialist and is assigned to the crew of mission STS-90/Neurolab, a 16-day mission to study the neurological system in microgravity, for launch in April 1998.
From the Russian Cosmodrome of Plesetsk, the Interball-2 spacecraft is launched, carrying 11 scientific instruments, including Canada's Ultra-Violet Auroral Imager (UVAI), a camera system to study magnetic storm movements that take place in very high altitude over Earth's surface.
The Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, is officially renamed the John H. Chapman Space Centre to commemorate the father of the Canadian Space Program.
In Beijing, William MacDonald Evans, then Canadian Space Agency President, signs a Cooperative Agreement on Space between Canada and China with Wang Tongye, Deputy Minister of COSTIND (Commission for Science, Technology and National Defense Industry).
In Bangalore, India, Mac Evans, then President of the CSA, signs a Cooperative Agreement on Space between Canada and India with Prof. Kasturi Rangan, President of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
Canadian Astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason is selected to fly as a Payload Specialist on mission STS-85/CRISTA-SPAS, slated to launch August 7, 1997. On Shuttle Discovery, Tryggvason is to test the new version of the Microgravity Isolation Mount (MIM) he codesigned.
The same day, the Canadian Space Agency unveils its new logo.
At its Space Systems facility in Brampton, Ontario, Spar Aerospace completes integration of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS). The 17-metre long robotic arm is to launch in 2000.
A giant solar storm is suspected of having caused the loss of Telstar 401, a communications satellite. The solar radiation surge is recorded on Earth by the 13 observatories of CANOPUS (Canadian Auroral Network for the Observation of Plasma in the Upper Atmosphere and Space), part of the CSA's Earth-Sun Physics Program.
During mission STS-81, the fifth Atlantis-Mir Docking Mission, U.S. astronaut Jerry Linenger succeeds John Blaha as the next resident on the Russian space station. During his four-month stay, Linenger performs a Canadian experiment to measure astronaut sleep pattern in space. The Canadian-sponsored experiment is designed by Dr. Harvey Moldofsky, director of the Center for Sleep and Chronobiology of the Toronto Hospital. Linenger also processes more than 100 samples of another Canadian experiment, the QUELD-2 furnace (Queens University experiment in liquid-metal diffusion) mounted on the MIM (Microgravity Isolation Mount).
Launch from the Kagoshima space range, in Japan, of the HALCA (highly advanced laboratory for communications and astronomy) radio-astronomy satellite. The downlinked signals of the Japanese spacecraft are merged with those received through the radio telescopes of the VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) world network. Astronomers use a recording correlator system designed in Canada by the Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology at York University, and the Herzberg Institute's Radio Astronomy Observatory in Penticton, British Columbia.
Telesat announces plans to contract Lockheed Martin in building NIMIQ, the first Canadian direct broadcast satellite, for launch in May 1999.
During a visit to the White House in Washington, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announces that his government will invest $207 million in the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, a key element of the Mobile Servicing System, Canada's contribution to the International Space Station.
Launch of the first five satellites of the IRIDIUM system, a 66-spacecraft constellation that provides global mobile communications. COM DEV International of Cambridge, Ontario, designed and built 10 antennas for each satellite: four space-ground antennas; four intersatellite communications antennas; and two antennas for telemetry and control.
Shuttle Atlantis returns to Earth after completion of mission STS-84 (sixth docking mission to Mir), with astronaut Jerry Linenger who brings back 102 samples that he processed in a special furnace for Canada's QUELD 2, or the Queens University experiment in liquid-metal diffusion.
Canadian Astronaut Col. Chris A. Hadfield is selected for mission STS-100/6A, the 6th Space Station Assembly Flight planned for 2000. Hadfield is to become the first Canadian to walk in space when he installs, with the help of EVA crewmate Bob Curbeam, the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) on the U.S. Destiny lab module.
After 497 million kilometres in space, Mars Pathfinder lands on the Red Planet in the Ares Vallis Plain. Two days later, the Sojourner rover descends a ramp built by Astro Aerospace, a California subsidiary of Spar Aerospace. The ramp is based on the first Canadian technology in space, the STEM (storable tubular extendible mechanism).
Bjarni Tryggvason becomes the sixth Canadian astronaut in space for mission STS-85 to deploy the CRISTA-SPAS pallet. As a Payload Specialist, he tests the next-generation Microgravity Isolation Mount (MIM), a unique Canadian device that he codesigned. A first-generation MIM is operating on space station Mir.
The first high-resolution satellite image ever taken of the South Pole is acquired by RADARSAT-1, Canada's first Earth Observation satellite operated by the Canadian Space Agency. This unique image was obtained by a yaw rotation of 180°. This manoeuvre is performed for the Antarctic Mapping Mission, so the radar can image to the left of the satellite track instead of the right to cover the South Pole.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol, the Canadian Space Agency unveils an optical sensor that will be carried on Sweden's Odin, to launch in 1999. The $6-million and 12-kilogram OSIRIS (optical spectrograph and infrared imager system) innovative space science instrument, designed and built by Routes Inc. of Kanata, west of Ottawa, consists of two environmental instruments: a precision imaging spectrograph and a three-telescope near-infrared imager.
Shuttle Atlantis lifts off for mission STS-86, the 7th docking mission with Mir. The CAPE experiments, the most important set of space protein crystal growth (PCG) experiments that Canada has ever performed are transferred. Some 800 protein samples from 15 universities and 12 secondary schools are processed in four months by U.S. astronaut David Wolf. The CAPE samples are taken back to CSA headquarters in Quebec on February 2, 1998.
The Canadian Space Agency selects MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) of Richmond, British Columbia, to build RADARSAT-2, a lighter, cheaper and more advanced follow-on satellite to RADARSAT-1. The second Canadian Earth-observation satellite will have a resolution of three metres. The CSA invests $225 million in the $305-million program. MDA contributes $80 million and will own and operate the spacecraft.
April 17 – May 3
Mission Specialist Dr. Dave R. Williams becomes the seventh Canadian astronaut in space and the first non-American medical officer on a space shuttle mission when he joins six crewmates for mission STS-90/Neurolab, the last mission on the Spacelab module, in the cargo bay of Shuttle Columbia. During the 16-day mission, Williams performs 26 experiments studying the influence of microgravity on the nervous system. Two are Canadian: one on visuo-motor coordination during space flight using the Visuo-Motor Coordination Facility (VCF) developed by Dr. Barry Fowler of York University; the other on the role of visual cues in spatial orientation (VISO), developed jointly by MIT professor Charles Oman and Dr. Ian Howard of CRESTech, York University. On February 10, 2000, Williams receives an award for his contributions to the mission.
Four days into the last of nine docking mission to Mir, during mission STS-91 aboard Shuttle Discovery, the upgraded Canadarm (Unit # 201, 50th space shuttle mission) is deployed for testing the new Servo Power Amplifiers (SPA) designed and built by Spar Aerospace in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec.
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Dr. Dave R. Williams is named Director of the Space and Life Sciences Directorate by George Abbey, the Director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Williams, who remains an active astronaut, is the first non-American citizen to hold this position.
At precisely 1:12 p.m. EDT on this Friday (Saturday, July 4, 3:12 am, in Japan), Japan's first Martian probe, Planet-B, is launched from the Kagoshima Space Center. The probe, renamed Nozomi as soon as it reaches orbit, carries a small, 3.25-kilogram Canadian instrument, the Thermal Plasma Analyzer (TPA) to measure the local Martian plasma density, drift velocity of charged particles in the thin atmosphere, and temperature, in an effort to understand energy processes in the planet's magnetosphere. Andrew Yau, a professor at the Institute of Space Research of the University of Calgary, in Alberta, is the Principal Investigator for this experiment. A performance problem in Nozomi's propulsion system in December pushes back the rendezvous with Mars in December 2003 or January 2004 rather than on its planned date, October11, 1999.
In presence of Dan Goldin, the NASA Administrator, the Canadian Space Agency announces the assignments of astronauts Julie Payette and Marc Garneau to two station assembly missions. Julie Payette, who will become the eight Canadian Space Agency Astronaut in space, is assigned to mission STS-96/2A.1, a logistics and supply mission, while Marc Garneau, for his third space flight, is assigned to mission STS-97/4A, during which he will deploy the first set of giant solar arrays.
For the first time in 15 years, Canada launches a giant balloon for the study of the ozone layer. Called MANTRA (Middle Atmosphere Nitrogen Trend Assessment), the 25-story high balloons carries six instruments that study the modifications that took place in the atmosphere in the last 15 to 20 years. A second Canadian balloon, BAM (balloon anisotropy measurement) is launched a few days later from NASA's National Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas.
SED Systems Inc. of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is awarded a $23-million European Space Agency (ESA) contract to provide a telemetry, tracking, and command antenna system for the Rosetta mission which will be the first user of this deep space antenna. Rosetta is launch in 2003 on an Ariane 5 rocket and rendezvous nine years later with Comet Wirtanen. The deep-space antenna system will be installed at D.C.'s deep-space facilities in Perth, Western Australia.
October 29 – November 7
Legendary U.S. astronaut John Herschel Glenn returns to space 36 years after his historic flight on Friendship 7. The 77-year-old Ohio Senator participates in mission STS-95 aboard Shuttle Discovery. During this mission, the oldest astronaut in space is responsible for tending two of three Canadian experiments: the OSTEO experiment for growing bone cells in microgravity, and SepTech, a fluid physics experiment to separate healthy cells from cancerous ones. The third is a protein crystal growth experiment.
A Proton rocket lifts off in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to launch the first element of the International Space Station, the Zarya (formerly known as FGB, by its Russian acronym). The 17-tonne module is covered with five special 16.5-cm black targets, elements of the Canadian Space Vision System (CSVS). Canada will install some 600 of these on the space station.
Launch of Shuttle Endeavour with the six-member crew of mission STS-88/2A, the first International Space Station Assembly mission. Using the upgraded Canadarm for its first operational mission, Astronaut Nancy Currie builds the Unity node on the Orbiter Docking System and, two days later, grabs the Zarya module to connect the two first components of the station. During this process, the use of the Orbiter Space Vision System (OSVS), an offshoot of the Canadian Space Vision System (CSVS), is essential, as the Unity node blocks the view of the approaching Russian module.
MDA awards an $90-million contract to Spar Aerospace Space Systems in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, for the design and development of the synthetic aperture radar for RADARSAT-2.
Spar Aerospace announces an agreement to sell the Satellite Products unit of its Space Systems Division in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, to Electromagnetic Sciences, Inc. (EMS), of Norcross, Georgia.
Industry Canada minister John Manley announces that the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) is selected to fly on SCISAT-1, the first all-Canadian science satellite in 30 years.
The SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) 17.6-metre long robotic arm, a key element of Canada's Mobile Servicing System (MSS) for the International space station, is officially transferred to its owner, the Canadian Space Agency, by its industrial prime contractor, Spar Aerospace Ltd. of Brampton, Ontario. The $1.4-billion SSRMS is shipped two months later (see May 16 ) to Florida, at the Kennedy Space Center's Space Station Processing Facility, to undergo integration testing with other elements of the space station. The SSRMS is slated for launch in 2001, on Mission STS-100/6A.
The sale of Spar Aerospace's Space Robotics unit in Brampton, Ontario, to MDA of Richmond, British Columbia, for $63 million, marks the end of Spar's role in the space industry. MDA renames the unit MacDonald, Dettwiler Space and Advanced Robotics Ltd.
After 22 shuttle missions, Spacelab-Europe's contribution to the Space Shuttle program-is officially handed to the European Space Agency at a ceremony at the Bremen airport in Germany, the city where the space laboratory module was built more than two decades ago. The space module is housed in a special exhibition hall at the Bremen airport, with a new role as the foundation stone of the Space Academy Bremen, a new educational venture that gives students and the public the opportunity to learn about Europe's achievements into human space flight. One of two flight units, the Spacelab returned to Europe flew for the last time in April 1998, carrying the STS-90/Neurolab mission Canadian Mission Specialist Dave Williams took part in that mission.
Canada's new space station robotic arm, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) is duly delivered to the Space Station Processing Facility of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at 7:30 a.m. on this Sunday morning (see: 12 March).
A Russian Proton-K heavy-lift launcher lifts off the launch pad at Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying to geostationary orbit the new Telesat Canada's NIMIQ high-powered Direct Broadcast Satellite. Built by Lockheed Martin Space and Communications, the NIMIQ satellite provides direct-to-home satellite television services, available to the user on a 46-cm dish antenna (see also 28 February 1997).
May 27 – June 6
Aboard Shuttle Discovery, Mission Specialist Julie Payette becomes the eighth Canadian Space Agency Astronaut in orbit and the first one to board the embryonic space station when she joins six other crewmates on mission STS-96/2A.1, the first logistics mission to the International Space Station (ISS), making use of the Canadarm in its 53rd shuttle flight. The Canadian robot arm supports an EVA that lasts nearly eight hours. While Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa operates the arm to move EV1 Tammy Jernigan around Discovery's cargo bay, Julie Payette acts as the "choreographer" of the spacewalk from the flight deck. Later, Payette becomes the third Canadian astronaut to operate the arm when she uses it to inspect the targets of the Canadian Space Vision System. Upon completion of the station leg of the mission, Payette is responsible for the ejection out of the cargo bay, of the basketball-shaped STARSHINE educational satellite.
John Manley, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, introduces legislation in the House of Commons which legally formalizes Canada's partnership in the International Space Station (ISS). The Civil International Space Station Agreement Implementation Act benefits Canada by staking out a long-term formal role for the Station in the Canadian Space Program.
Following successful lift-off at 11:44 a.m. EDT, a Boeing Delta II Med-Lite rocket places the 1,360-kg FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer), a six-metre-tall astronomy satellite, into the planned 768-km circular orbit inclined 25 degrees. The Canadian Space Agency has provided critical hardware for the US$215 million spacecraft, two Fine Error Sensor instruments for pointing accurately the telescope.
SPACEHAB, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based space company that flies its commercial SpaceHab module inside the cargo bay of the space shuttle, purchases from the Canadian Space Agency rights to an experiment locker aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This agreement marks the opening of the ISS to commercial users, making SPACEHAB the only company with direct commercial access to Station research opportunities, and making the CSA the first space agency to commercialize portions of its allocated space aboard the station.
Mac Evans, President of the CSA, and Isao Uchida, President of Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA), sign an Agreement on the exchange of personnel to allow for the training of Japanese astronauts to operate Canada's Mobile Servicing System (MSS).
The long-awaited launch of the US$1.3 billion Terra (formerly called EOS-AM) satellite finally takes place as a Lockheed Martin Atlas 2AS takes to orbit the 4765.4-kg remote sensing spacecraft, the first of 25 spacecraft of various sizes to be launched through 2003 to serve NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) program. Terra carries five instrument packages, three from NASA, one from Japan, and Canada's MOPITT (Measurement of the Ozone Pollution In The Troposphere) sensor. EMS Technology Canada Ltd., of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, has also designed and developed the steerable antenna system that allows Terra to communicate with the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS).
Mission STS-103/3rd Servicing Mission of the Hubble Space Telescope, aboard Shuttle Discovery. During this nine-day mission, the 12.5-ton Hubble telescope is buttressed by a major increase in computer and data storage capability, new battery components, an upgraded guidance system and new gyroscopes. Operated by European Space Agency astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, Canadarm is used for a 54th time during a shuttle mission.
MDA, the company responsible for the development, marketing and operation of the RADARSAT-2 remote sensing radar satellite, awards a $74-million contract to Italy's Alenia Spazio to build the bus and antenna deployment platform for the RADARSAT-1 follow-on spacecraft. Alenia is also developing the bus from its Prima satellite platform.
Dr. John Hutchings of the National Research Council Canada's Herzberg Astrophysics Institute, reports at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Atlanta about early Canadian discoveries, working with the FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer) spacecraft. The astronomy satellite made the discovery that thousands of exploding stars left a football-shaped halo of searing hot gas extending 5,000 to 10,000 light-years above and below the plane of the Milky Way.
After a series of engineering exposures, the three EPIC cameras of the XMM (X-ray Multi-mirror Mission), the European Space Agency astronomy satellite that was launched December 10, 1999, take their first images of three different extragalactic regions of the Universe: part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Hickson Cluster Group 16 (HCG-16), and the star HR 1099. The Large Magellanic Cloud, also known as the Nebula Major, is about 20,000 light-years in diameter. The HCG-16 is one of approximately a hundred compact galaxy clusters listed by Canadian astronomer Paul Hickson in the 1980s. HR 1099 is a sixth magnitude star located about a 100 light-years from the Sun.
John Manley, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, announces the creation of the John H. Chapman Excellence Award, to recognize and reward exceptional accomplishments in the space science and technology sector.
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Dr. Dave R. Williams, is also head of NASA/Johnson Space Center's Directorate of Space and Life Sciences, and he receives the prestigious Melbourne W. Boynton Award of the American Astronautical Society for 1999. Williams is cited for his extraordinary contributions to the successful implementation of the STS-90/Neurolab mission, a 16-day flight beginning 17 April 1998 aboard Columbia.
To mark 160 years of Canadian scientific research on the Northern Lights, a 20-metre, four-stage Black Brant-12 Canadian sounding rocket lifts off the NASA launching pad at Poker Flat, near Fairbanks, Alaska, and hurtles the GEODESIC (Geoelectrodynamics and Electro-Optical Detection of Electron and Suprathermal Ion Currents) mission 1,000 km into the heart of the aurora borealis on a 17-minute flight, before falling into the Beaufort Sea. The instrument examines small one-million-degree-Celsius pockets of energy in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The sounding rocket also carries NASA instruments to measure electromagnetic fields and energetic charged particles. Both the GEODESIC payload and its launcher were built by Bristol Aerospace of Winnipeg.
Spacebound: CSA's Space Science Sector presents the 8th Canadian Microgravity Conference, Spacebound 2000, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Canadian Space Agency joins the European Space Agency and the French Space Agency(CNES) in founding the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters". From here on, satellite data supports rescue and humanitarian operations during major disasters.
Marc Garneau, first Canadian to ever go to space, embarks on his third space mission as a crew member of STS-97.
2001 - 2002
Launch of OSIRIS onboard Sweden's third scientific satellite, Odin.
Launch of STS-102 (ISS-5A.1), carrying Canada's first space science experiment for the International Space Station, "H-Reflex," a space life science experiment on spinal cord excitability.
Launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield, on the STS-100, to deliver Canadarm2 to the International Space Station. Chris Hadfield becomes the first Canadian to perform an Extra Vehicular Activity, or spacewalk.
CSA hosts the 3rd Canadian Space Exploration Workshop.
ISS Forum 2001 - International Space Station Utilisation Conference covering both research and commercial utilisation opportunities.
The CSA hosts the 6th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space.
Marc Garneau becomes President of the Canadian Space Agency.The Honourable Brian Tobin announces Garneau's appointment, effective November 22, 2001.
Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched December 5 carries a double dose of Canadian science towards the International Space Station (ISS). The innovative Extra-Vehicular Activity Radiation Monitors (EVARM) experiment is used to measure the amount of radiation astronauts receive during spacewalks. The Hoffman-Reflex experiment, or H-Reflex is flying for the third time on a shuttle mission to the Station. H-Reflex measures how human reflexes are affected by microgravity.
The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters
To help rescue operations during disasters, the space agency members of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters launch an innovative website during the Charter Evaluation Workshop in Paris: The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters Website.
Canadians share in ENVISAT's success
ENVISAT, the European Space Agency's most advanced Earth-observation satellite is launched successfully. The Canadian Space Agency, a cooperating member of D.C., and Canadian private sector partners, play a key role in the success of this project.
The Canadian Space Agency, RADARSAT International (RSI) and the Department of Industry, Trade and Rural Development of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador agree to provide the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador access to RADARSAT-1 data and data products at favourable government rates, as negotiated with RSI, the Canadian company responsible for the worldwide marketing, processing, and distribution of RADARSAT-1 data.
The Northern Centre for Advanced Technology Inc. (NORCAT) demonstrates Canadian drilling technology that could be used in a future mission to collect samples on Mars. NORCAT is conducting a feasibility study for the Canadian Space Agency on how Canadian expertise in mining could play a role in exploring the Red Planet.
Canada's newest contribution to the International Space Station—the Mobile Base System (MBS)—is launched with Space Shuttle Endeavour.
On June 9, astronauts Franklin Chang-Diaz and Philippe Perrin began their first spacewalk to begin installation of the second element of Canada's contribution to the International Space Station, the Mobile Base System.
Canadarm2's new work platform, known as the Mobile Base System is now fully operational after being "plugged in" by space shuttle astronauts Franklin Chang-Diaz and Philippe Perrin.
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Steve MacLean received the CSA's robotic operators wings following a second week-long training session at the Agency's state-of-the-art Operations and Training Simulator facility in Saint-Hubert.
Canada's SCISAT-1 unveils first science satellite in over 30 years
It was unveiled at a ceremony at Magellan Aerospace's Bristol facility in Winnipeg.
Canada's first space telescope unveiled
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Dynacon Enterprises Limited, the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia (UBC) unveiled Canada's first microsatellite, housing its first space telescope, MOST (microvariability and oscillations of stars), scheduled for launch in April 2003.
Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, announces the awarding of a $400,000 contract to MDA of Richmond, B.C., to support the Canadian Space Agency in defining Canada's contribution to European missions to Mars, and the NASA-led Mars Science Laboratory mission.
2003 - 2004
Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Canadian scientists fly two research projects involving several experiments onboard Columbia. These experiments (OSTEO-2) could ultimately have applications in the health sector and further our understanding of bone loss during space flight. Two science teams represent the Canadian academic community and the third is a joint venture between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and two industrial partners.
The official name of the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator "Dextre" is announced. This Canadian advanced technology robot represents the power of innovation, technology and engineering that brings our space operations to a new plane. Dextre is the third and last component of the Mobile Servicing System, Canada's contribution to the International Space Station.
OSIRIS and Odin mission extended: Swedish satellite mission prolonged
The Canadian Space Agency announces that the OSIRIS instrument (Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System), flying onboard Swedish satellite Odin, will keep providing detailed data relating to ozone depletion for one more year, as the satellite and instruments, including an advanced radiometer for microwave radiation, are still functional after having completed their two- year initial mission.
CSA and the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) creates opportunities for Canadian researchers to take part in a study that will hopefully shed light on the physiological changes occurring during long-term bedrest. Changes, such as the loss of bone and muscle mass seen in astronauts during space flights are similar to those of conditions seen in patients here on Earth.
Canada's first space telescope launched
CSA confirms the successful launch of its first space telescope from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. Called MOST (microvariability and oscillations of stars), the telescope was launched at 10:15 AM EDT, and released into orbit at 11:46 AM EDT on a booster ("Rockot") operated by Eurockot Launch Services GmbH of Bremen, Germany.
Canada-U.S. satellite gets a triple brain transplant
The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite is given a new lease on life following the successful implementation of new software in three on-board computers controlling the precision pointing of the telescope.
"First Light" for Canada's first space telescope
After a perfect launch and orbit insertion one month earlier, Canada's first space telescope-called MOST-opens its eye to the cosmos for the first time. Astronomers traditionally call this milestone for a telescope "first light."
Canada's SCISAT launched
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) launches SCISAT from NASA's launch facilities near Lompoc, California. During its two-year mission, SCISAT will help a team of Canadian and international scientists improve their understanding of the depletion of the ozone layer, with a special emphasis on the changes occurring over Canada and in the Arctic.
Historic Stamp Unveiling Brings Canada's Eight Space Travellers Together for the First Time Ever.
The eight Canadian Space Agency astronauts who have taken part in space missions unveil stamps in their honour. They are: Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar, Steve MacLean, Chris Hadfield, Robert Thirsk, Bjarni Tryggvason, Dave Williams and Julie Payette.
Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Allan Rock, and Canadian Space Agency President, Marc Garneau, announce the launch of the Government of Canada's $155 million National Satellite Initiative.
This joint project between Infrastructure Canada, Industry Canada, and CSA will provide high-speed broadband Internet access services via satellite to communities located in the Far and Mid North, and in isolated or remote areas of Canada.
Canada's space industry will directly benefit from an Arrangement signed between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) that ensures Canada's participation in the Development and Validation Phase of Europe's Galileo Program.
Four Decades of Space Science Excellence
Gordon G. Shepherd is bestowed the prestigious John H. Chapman Award of Excellence in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the Canadian Space Program, by Marc Garneau, President of the CSA.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS) announce the creation of a new program that will fund Canadian University space researchers and encourage them to build industry alliances.
RADARSAT-1: Eight-years old
The CSA celebrates eight productive years in space with RADARSAT-1, surpassing all expectations for a mission that was initially planned for five years.
It is announced that half a million Heinz tomato seeds will be launched to the International Space Station onboard a Russian rocket in early 2004 as part of the Tomatosphere Project. Students across Canada have an opportunity to plant these seeds upon their return in school science experiments.
It is announced that half a million Heinz tomato seeds will be launched to the International Space Station onboard a Russian rocket in early 2004 as part of the Tomatosphere Project. Students across Canada have an opportunity to plant these seeds upon their return in school science experiments.
Seeds, rocket ships, the Space Station and the Red Planet... Planting the seeds of science with students!
Approximately 500,000 Heinz tomato seeds launched onboard a Russian Progress vehicle arrived at the International Space Station where they stayed six months in a micro-gravity environment. For more information.
Canadian Hybrid Satellite Heralds New Era in Space-Based Communications and Scientific Research
The Canadian Space Agency announces the CASSIOPE mission which will require the building of an innovative satellite platform adaptable for a wide range of assignments, including science, technology, Earth observation, geological exploration and high capacity information delivery. MDA of Richmond, B.C., the prime contractor for CASSIOPE, will lead a Canadian industrial team to develop both the space and ground infrastructure and will operate the spacecraft.
OSIRIS Provides Unprecedented Ozone Measurement
The Canadian Space Agency is celebrating the third anniversary of the launch and activation of OSIRIS onboard the Swedish satellite Odin. OSIRIS is a Canadian instrument that continues to capture precise data on ozone depletion. The scientific mission, with partners Sweden, Finland and France, is completing its third year and the instrument and satellite are continuing to perform very well.
Bristol Aerospace to Lead Design of Canada's Innovative Small Satellite Bus
Bristol Aerospace, the Winnipeg division of Magellan Aerospace Corporation, is selected by the Canadian Space Agency to design Canada's multi-mission small-satellite platform. The contract, valued at $2 million, covers the preliminary design stages of this small-satellite platform. The first demonstration of the new bus design will take place on the recently announced CASSIOPE Mission, scheduled for launch in 2007.
Canada's SCISAT satellite in full operation
CSA confirms the full commissioning of its new SCISAT satellite, launched in August 2003 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The two-year Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) is now underway.
New RADARSAT-2 Applications Assessing Environmental Impact, Climate Change Issues
Eighteen contracts were awarded by CSA to Canadian companies for the development of applications in preparation for RADARSAT-2 satellite data. These specialized applications respond to existing and emerging environmental issues worldwide. Thirteen companies will develop these projects through funding provided by the Earth Observation Application Development Program.
Successful launch of Telesat Canada's Anik F2
In a picture-perfect launch at 8:44 p.m. EDT, Anik F2, Telesat Canada's innovative, high-speed Ka-band, multimedia telecommunications satellite ascends from the forest canopy of the Arianespace launch facilities in Kourou, French Guiana, aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. With Ka-band technology, low-cost, two-way satellite delivery will be available for wireless broadband Internet connections, telemedicine, telelearning, teleworking and e-commerce in the most remote regions of Canada.
Support for space station's new configuration from Partners
Space agency leaders from the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada met at the ESA Technical Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, to discuss International Space Station (ISS) cooperation activities. At this meeting, the Partners unanimously endorsed the station's technical configuration and reviewed the status of on-orbit operations and plans. The new station configuration should be completed by the end of the decade, accommodating elements from each of the Partners. The configuration allows for increased use and will soon accommodate a crew of more than three people.
MANTRA research balloon successfully launched to probe the Ozone Layer
Scientists from the Canadian Space Agency, Environment Canada, the University of Toronto, York University and the University of Waterloo launched a large research balloon in an intensive study of the ozone layer over Canada. The balloon, as tall as a 20-storey building, was carrying a half tonne of scientific instruments 40 km high in the sky over Saskatchewan.
Canada to build key component of NASA's next giant space telescope
Canada will build a key component of the gigantic James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to be launched by NASA in August 2011. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) recently awarded a $5-million contract to Ottawa-based EMS Technologies' Space and Technology Group for the design of the fine guidance sensor, in partnership with COM DEV of Cambridge, Ontario.
CSA announces that Robert Thirsk will lead the NEEMO 7 mission, replacing Dave Williams who underwent a medical evaluation for a recent condition. Both Canadian astronauts are medical practitioners.
At a world space conference, Marc Garneau, then President of the Canadian Space Agency, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency, highlight 25 years of collaboration between Canada and Europe.
The 20th anniversary of historic space flight of Marc Garneau, the first Canadian to go to space is celebrated in Vancouver during the International Astronautical Congress.
Canadian Space Agency marks beginning of breakthrough satellite services for Canadians
The world's largest commercial communications satellite, Telesat's Anik F2, begins full operations following final in-orbit testing.
RADARSAT-1 still providing critical images after nine years of operations
RADARSAT-1, Canada's "eye-in-the-sky," completes its ninth year of operation-well beyond its five-year expected lifetime. Over the years, it has delivered precision images and garnered 15% of the world's Earth observation market for Canada. Canadian Space Agency satellite operations engineers continue to innovate and extend the life of the world first commercial microwave radar satellite.
Soyuz Mission: Astronaut Bob Thirsk selected as a backup mission specialist
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Bob Thirsk was selected as a backup mission specialist and trained with European and Russian crewmembers in preparation for a Soyuz flight scheduled for launch and rendezvous with the International Space Station in April 2005. As a backup mission specialist for ESA Astronaut Roberto Vittori of Italy, Bob Thirsk also joined Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and NASA Astronaut John Phillips.
2005 - 2006
Tsunami in South Asia
Canada's space community collaborates with space nations to provide satellite images of before and after south Asia's devastating tsunami on December 26 to aid rescue and humanitarian efforts.
International Space Station assembly to be completed by the end of the decade
At the Montréal meeting of the heads of space agencies from the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada delegates review and advance International Space Station cooperation and NASA's plans for Space Shuttle return to flight.
Bob Thirsk is backup Flight Engineer for a Soyuz Mission
Russia's Soyuz takes international crew to space station: Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk is backup. Thirsk is a veteran astronaut and serves as backup for European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori, who pilots Soyuz and docks it with the space station.
John H. Chapman Award of Excellence
Two of Canada's finest space pioneers, Larry Clarke and John D. MacNaughton are presented the John H. Chapman Award of Excellence. The award acknowledges those who have contributed to the advancement of the Canadian Space Program through a lifetime of achievement in space science and technology.
Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Mexico conduct an unusual experiment using a 2,000-kg telescope attached to a huge helium balloon flying at 38,000 metres. BLAST (Balloon-borne Large Aperture Sub-millimetre Telescope) stares deep into the sky to study distant stars and galaxies. From Kiruna, Sweden BLAST flies for five days before reaching Inuvik.
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
Ottawa's EMS wins key component design contract for NASA's next giant space telescope. The Canadian Space Agency awards a $26.2-million contract to the Space and Technology Group of Ottawa-based EMS Technologies for the detailed design of a fine guidance sensor and a tuneable filter for NASA's next-generation space telescope.
The fine guidance sensor supplied by Canada is essential to the success of the mission. It will track the positions of very faint stars with great accuracy so that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) can be pointed steadily while its other instruments generate high-quality images.
April 3 to 20
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dr. Dave Williams is commander of the 18-day underwater NEEMO 9 mission off Key Largo, Florida. Williams and his crew conduct experiments using the latest remote surgical technologies and techniques, guided by Dr. Mehran Anvari, director of the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) in Hamilton, Ontario. The NEEMO 9 mission demonstrates and evaluates innovative remote medical care technologies and procedures.
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Steve MacLean launches successfully onboard Space Shuttle Atlantis at 11:15 a.m. EDT from the Kennedy Space Center. The crew of mission STS-115 resumed assembly of the International Space Station, which had halted after the grounding of NASA's Shuttle fleet in 2003. They deliver and install new truss segments and solar arrays on this mission, doubling the power capacity of the International Space Station.
Although this is his second space flight, mission STS-115 is the first visit to the station for Steve MacLean and his first opportunity to perform a spacewalk. The Canadian astronaut operates the Shuttle's Canadian-made robotic arm and extension boom to help inspect the surface and tiles of the spacecraft for signs of damage that may have occurred during launch. MacLean also becomes the first Canadian to operate the Station's Canadarm2 and the Mobile Base System in space as his crewmate hand over the new set of solar arrays to him using the Shuttle's Canadarm.
2007 - 2008
The heads of the International Space Station (ISS) partners, space agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States, meet at European Space Agency Headquarters in Paris, France, on January 23, 2007, to review ISS cooperation. In their discussions, the Heads of Agency note the significant accomplishments of the partnership in implementing the space station configuration and assembly sequence endorsed at their last meeting in March 2006.
The Heads of Agency review the status of current ISS development, configuration and operations activities across the partnership. Transportation capability, including the European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle, the Japanese H-2 Transfer Vehicle, the Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles, the U.S. Space Shuttle, Commercial Orbital Transportation, and Crew Exploration Vehicle were discussed. Also, they review the timely achievement of a six person crew and completion of space station assembly.
Five NASA satellites are launched from Cape Canaveral to form a constellation over northern Canada every four days to gather scientific data about the aurora borealis. A network of 20 observatories record the same phenomenon from the ground. The Canadian Space Agency is supporting THEMIS ground operations in Canada. THEMIS is a NASA-funded mission led by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and involves scientists from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The mission investigates what causes auroras in the Earth's atmosphere to dramatically change from slowly shimmering waves of light to wildly shifting streaks of colour.
Mr. Laurier (Larry) J. Boisvert is appointed President of the CSA after a long career with Telesat from which he retired in 2006 and following 34 years in the satellite industry.
The Honourable Maxime Bernier, then Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, announces that the Agency has delivered to NASA Canada's contribution to the Phoenix mission to Mars. Canada is contributing a weather station called MET that is integrated with the Phoenix Mars lander, which is set to launch on August 3, 2007. These meteorological instruments were designed by Canadian scientists and industry with $37 million in funding from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
When a mission to Mars is being developed, mission planners must consider many factors. Space technology advances, scientific needs and objectives, how to deal with distance, communications delays, and landing through the thin Martian atmosphere-all this must converge into a useful, workable mission concept. Canadian companies and researchers are part of an international drive to respond to these and other challenges. The Canadian Space Agency announces the funding of five teams selected to develop their Mars mission concept proposals. Each team is entitled to a maximum of $250,000 to develop the concept of a scientific mission to Mars, including its moons.
Gary Goodyear, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), announces the award of a $39-million contract to COM DEV for the building of the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and the Tuneable Filter Imager (TFI) camera for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The FGS is a critical instrument that will locate stars to high precision and keep the telescope pointed accurately while it works. TFI will provide a unique infrared imaging capability for JWST. As a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency and the CSA, this space telescope will be the largest ever built. Managing Canada's participation, the Canadian Space Agency plays a pivotal role as the funding agency and project coordinator in Canada. This contribution will also guarantee Canadian scientists access to all data and allow them to formulate requests for a minimum of 5% of the time on the space telescope for studies that would best serve their research.
August 4, 2007
NASA's Phoenix Mars lander launches on a Delta 2 from pad SLC-17, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Canada is providing the meteorological instruments onboard the Phoenix spacecraft which will track the weather and climate on Mars.
STS-118 Space Shuttle Endeavour launches from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida to the ISS. Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Dave Williams conducts 3 spacewalks during the 22nd Shuttle mission to the Station. The flight will deliver and attach the S5 starboard truss. Barbara Morgan, NASA's Educator Astronaut makes this a high profile mission.
RADARSAT-2 is launched from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Soyuz vehicle. Canada's next-generation commercial radar satellite offers powerful technical advancements that enhance marine surveillance, ice monitoring, disaster management, environmental monitoring, resource management and mapping in Canada and around the world.
Canadian astronauts Julie Payette and Robert Thirsk are selected to go on space missions in 2009
Julie Payette will be on the Space Shuttle Endeavour for mission STS-127, with a launch planned for April 2009. During mission STS-127, the crew will deliver the last elements of the Kibo laboratory contributed by the Japanese space agency, JAXA, to the International Space Station. The components are the external experiment module and its space platform. The Space Shuttle's six astronauts will take part in the mission. Julie Payette will serve as a mission specialist. In May 2009, Dr. Robert Thirsk will be taking part in Expedition 19, becoming the first Canadian to remain on the International Space Station for a long stay, living there for 4 to 6 months. He will also be a member of the crew for the transition to a team of six astronauts living together continuously aboard the Station.
This historic mission STS-123 completed the Mobile Servicing System, which includes Canadarm2 and the Mobile Base System.
The two-armed specialized robot is to play a critical role in operations and maintenance outside the Space Station. It can remove and replace components that require precise handling, reducing the amount of time that astronauts must spend outside the Station and leaving them more time to perform scientific experiments aboard the space laboratory.
Like Canadarm2 and the Mobile Base System, Dextre can be controlled from a workstation inside the Station or by controllers on the ground in mission control centres in Houston, Texas and at Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec. Astronauts, cosmonauts, and controllers are trained to operate the Mobile Servicing Systems elements at the Agency's simulation facilities in Longueuil.
Canadian Space Agency to Recruit New Astronauts
The Canadian Space Agency announces that it will begin a national astronaut recruitment campaign at the end of May 2008, to select astronauts to join its Canadian Astronaut Corps.
The Minister of Industry creates the Advisory Committee on the Canadian Space Agency: The Advisory Committee will be chaired by Cecil Hawkins, and its members will be John M. Banigan, Indira Samarasekera and Dafydd (Dave) Williams. The Advisory Committee will work with the President of the CSA to provide the Minister of Industry with strategic advice on space and the priorities and overall direction of the CSA. It will examine the CSA's expenditures and the potential for future investments; review its programs against existing and emerging government and science and technology priorities; and assess challenges and recommend new opportunities where Canadian expertise, science and technology can continue to contribute to maximizing social and economic benefits for Canadians.
The Canadian Space Agency officially launches its national astronaut recruitment campaign on May 22, 2008, to select astronauts to join its Canadian Astronaut Corps
Those selected by the Canadian Space Agency will take part in long-duration spaceflights on the International Space Station. Among their tasks, astronauts will help assemble and maintain the Station and conduct scientific and industrial research enhancing our quality of life on Earth.
By May 2009, two candidates taken from this process will be selected and begin their training to represent Canada in future space exploration missions, including long-duration spaceflights on the International Space Station.
The Maple Leaf Lands on Mars: Phoenix Carries Canadian Science and Technology to the Red Planet
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander carrying Canada's meteorological station successfully touches down in the Arctic region of Mars, where it begins a planned 90-day science mission. Its 2.35-metre robotic arm allows it to dig for clues about the history of water on Mars, as well as the soil's potential for harbouring life. Canada's meteorological station will help accurately model Mars's climate and predict future weather processes. This information may improve understanding of Earth's dynamic Polar Regions by comparing the two planets. The meteorological (MET) station is designed to track the weather and climate on Mars. The mission marks the first time Canadian technology has landed on the surface of another planet.
National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign closes
By May 2009, two candidates taken from this process will be selected and begin their training to represent Canada in future space exploration missions, including long-duration spaceflights on the International Space Station. Among their tasks, astronauts will help assemble and maintain the Station and conduct scientific and industrial research enhancing the quality of life on Earth.
Since the Campaign launched on May 22, approximately 4 000 applications were submitted.
Official announcement of NEOSSat development
World's first satellite dedicated to detecting asteroids and space debris: Circling the Earth every 100 minutes, Canada's most recent micro-satellite will scan space near the Sun to pinpoint asteroids well before they pass near our planet.
NEOSSat, the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite, has two missions: Discover asteroids and comets orbiting the Sun and crossing Earth's orbit; and identify and track satellites and debris orbiting high above the Earth to increase global understanding of crowded space traffic.
The Canadian Space Agency is working with Defence Research and Development Canada on this high performance satellite. It carries a small, 15 cm, telescope able to detect satellites and debris in Earth's orbit as well as faint asteroids against the dark background of space.
Joint statement by the International Space Station Heads of Agency
The International Space Station, a test-bed for future space exploration
The Heads of the International Space Station (ISS) Agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met at European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in Paris, France, on July 17, 2008, to review ISS cooperation.
The Heads of Agency reviewed current ISS development, configuration and operations activities across the partnership. They considered implementing plans to maximise the benefits from the increase to a six-person crew in 2009 and discussed efforts to ensure that essential space transportation capabilities (both crew and cargo) will be available across the partnership for the life of the programme. The Partners acknowledged the need for the additional Russian modules to be provided in 2009 and 2010 that will maximise six-person ISS operations and utilisation.
As the partnership moves closer to completion of ISS assembly, the Partners noted that a continuation of operations beyond 2015 would not be precluded by any significant technical challenges. Recognising the substantial programmatic benefits to continued ISS operations and utilisation beyond the current planning horizon, the Heads of Agency committed to work with their respective governments to assess support for such a goal.
Canada's SCISAT: Keeping an Eye on the Ozone Layer
Operating well beyond its planned lifetime of two years, Canada's SCISAT celebrates its fifth birthday in service to science and Canada. The data collected by SCISAT over the past five years clearly show that levels of atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)--the main chemicals that destroy ozone--are falling and that the threat of overall ozone depletion is decreasing.
Astronaut Steve MacLean Appointed President of the Canadian Space Agency
The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) appointed Dr. Steve MacLean as President of the CSA.
Unlocking the Secrets of Space Weather
Canadian Space Agency awards contracts for solar-terrestrial science: The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced $6.5 million in contracts to support academic research focused on expanding understanding of space weather, the impact of our Sun's activity on the Earth's environment.. As part of the ongoing Canadian GeoSpace Monitoring (CGSM) Program, ten newly launched research projects will collect and process information that will allow scientists to investigate the mysteries behind the complex interactions between the highly energised particles that flow from the Sun (known as the "solar wind") and the Earth's protective shield, the magnetosphere.
Phoenix Mars Lander Concludes a Successful Mission
NASA and the University of Arizona announced that they were bringing to a close the successful Phoenix Mars Lander mission. Phoenix had exceeded expectations by performing breakthrough science far beyond its planned 90-days in the hostile environment of the Red Planet, with discoveries like the presence of water ice in the Martian soil, and the Canadian discovery of snow falling from clouds in Mars' atmosphere.
Canadian Space Agency announces design contract with MDA for RADARSAT Constellation
The Canadian Space Agency announced that MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) had been awarded a 16-month contract valued at $40 million to begin the design of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM).
The RADARSAT Constellation is the evolution of the RADARSAT Program and will ensure the continued use by government scientific and commercial clients of data produced by Canada's advanced C-band radar instrument.
As part of the mission, the three-satellite configuration will provide complete daily coverage of Canada's land and oceans as well as significant coverage of international areas for Canadian and international users.
2009 - 2010
Competition Narrows in National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign
Canada's third National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign is well underway. A record 5351 potential astronaut candidates submitted applications online when the campaign was launched last May. Following the first phases of evaluations, including preliminary interviews and basic medical tests, 40 were selected to move forward to the next round in the evaluation process. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) completed robotics and fitness tests (including swimming) of those candidates last week. The evaluations took place in the Montreal area and it was the first time candidates were brought together for testing since the beginning of the campaign.
AuroraMAX: New Project Puts the Northern Lights Online
The Canadian Space Agency, the City of Yellowknife, the University of Calgary and Astronomy North announced the creation of AuroraMAX, an online observatory and outreach project that will feature live broadcast of the northern lights from Yellowknife. This collaborative venture aims to increase an understanding of the aurora both locally and nationally.
Top 16 Astronaut Candidates Introduced
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Steve MacLean introduced the Top 16 candidates who are participating in the Agency's National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. This announcement provides insight into the process of selecting the next two members of Canada's Astronaut Corps. This group was selected from over 5351 online and screened applicants to the National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign, which was launched in May 2008.
Two New Canadian Astronauts
Nearly 25 years after the first Canadian astronaut flew into space and only weeks before two Canadian space veterans launch to the International Space Station, the Honourable Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Steve MacLean revealed the names of Canada's newest astronauts. Jeremy Hansen and David St-Jacques are the first Canadians to join the astronaut corps since 1992.
Canada Plays a Key Role in Two New Cosmic Origins Missions
The European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory and Planck space telescope were successfully launched simultaneously at 9:12 a.m. Eastern today aboard the same Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. With funding from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), four Canadian science teams made important contributions to both satellites, considered to be two of the most ambitious missions seeking to better understand the birth of stars and the dawn of the Universe. While the Herschel and Planck satellites are two separate missions, both contribute to enhance their respective research areas in far-infrared astronomy and cosmology.
Successful Launch: Canadian Astronaut Bob Thirsk Lifts Off for Six Months on International Space Station
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Robert (Bob) Thirsk launched successfully from Baïkonur, Kazakhstan, aboard Soyuz TMA-15 at 6:34 a.m. EDT, marking the start of Canada's first long-duration mission in space. Thirsk will stay onboard the International Space Station (ISS) for six months, breaking Canada's-and his own-mission-length record of 17 days. A physician and mechanical engineer, Thirsk is the mission's Crew Medical Officer, robotics specialist, and specialist for Kibo, the Japanese experimental facility.
June 4, 2009
First Canadian Private Space Explorer Set to Launch on Humanitarian Mission to the International Space Station
Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil and the ONE DROP Foundation, was the first Canadian private space explorer to visit the International Space Station. The announcement was made at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters, with Laliberté speaking from Moscow where he has begun his training. During his 12-day stay at the International Space Station, Laliberté shared information about water issues in the world to raise awareness for the ONE DROP Foundation initiatives that promote Water for all, all for water. Julie Payette also took the ONE DROP foundation's emblem with her to space as part of her official flight kit, to highlight the importance of protecting this precious resource.
CSA astronaut Julie Payette ready for a second space flight
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette is scheduled to embark on her second space flight. Space shuttle Endeavour with Payette and the crew of Mission STS-127 aboard is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on June 13, 2009.
Canadian Scientists Find Clues to the Water Cycle on Mars
According to the first findings from the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, snow and water-ice clouds play a crucial role in the exchange of water between the atmosphere and surface of Mars, which suggests that the Red Planet is even more like Earth than previously thought.
Going to great heights to honour astronaut
Canadian Space Agency astronaut and University of Calgary alumnus Robert Thirsk becomes the first Canadian to receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws via live downlink from the International Space Station.
Mission STS-127: Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette launched successfully aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on July 15th to 31st, 2009 and returned to the International Space Station. Mission STS-127 was the 127th mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour and the 29th to the International Space Station.
Canada Marks Space Milestone as two Canadians meet in space for the first time
Shortly after the space shuttle Endeavour docked to the International Space Station, the hatch between the two spacecrafts was opened and the first six permanent ISS residents welcomed aboard the crew of mission STS-127. Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk, who launched to the Station on May 27th aboard a Soyuz rocket, greeted fellow Canadian astronaut Julie Payette to his orbital home.
Historic conversation between Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear and two Canadian Astronauts aboard the space station
The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), spoke with Canadian Astronauts Julie Payette and Robert Thirsk during a live televised downlink event with the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbited 400 km above Earth.
Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette returns to Earth
Critical assembly mission ends with successful landing
The remarkably successful STS-127 mission came to an end with a picture-perfect landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at 10:48 a.m. EDT. The 16-day mission was a robotics-intense mission with astronauts completing the installation of the platform outside the Japanese laboratory Kibo and replacing critical equipment on the International Space Station (ISS). All mission objectives were accomplished and five spacewalks were performed that totalled 30 hours and 30 minutes outside. Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Julie Payette operated three arms during the mission-the Station's Canadarm2, the Shuttle's Canadarm and the Japanese arm.
Strengthening Canada - U.S. Space Collaboration
Reaffirming nearly 50 years of collaboration in the peaceful use and exploitation of space for the benefits of their citizens and humanity, Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, in the presence of Guy Saint-Jacques, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, today signed an overarching Framework Agreement on Space Cooperation.
Canadian Cosmic Catch
The Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) Canadarm2 successfully captured an unpiloted, free-flying Japanese vehicle -a first Canadian cosmic catch for the robotic arm on the International Space Station (ISS). Following this delicate capturing maneuver, Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk took over the controls of the arm and dock the carrier onto the ISS to finalize the rendezvous.
25 years of Canadian human presence in Space
On October 5, 2009, Canada celebrated 25 years of human presence in space. A quarter of a century ago, U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off in the early morning sky from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau aboard. Since this maiden space flight, Canada has an impressive track record of 14 shuttle missions and even a long duration mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Canadian astronauts have taken part in numerous scientific experiments and given a helping hand in assembling the ISS. Three Canadians have performed spacewalks and Bob Thirsk is breaking a Canadian record for the longest mission ever as he will be in space for a 6-month stay. In 2009, Canada added two new recruits to its already well respected and experienced astronaut corps.
Successful Launch of Canadian Technology On European Space Agency SMOS/Proba-2 satellites
Two advanced satellites SMOS and Proba-2 were launched aboard a Russian Rockot launch vehicle. The dual launch included a primary satellite called SMOS (Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity), developed under the European Space Agency's (ESA) Living Planet program, that observe soil moisture over the Earth's landmass and salinity over the oceans. As a secondary objective, SMOS also provide observations over snow and ice covered regions, and contribute to the study of the cryosphere. The second satellite Proba-2 (PRoject OnBoard Autonomy) is part of ESA's In-orbit Technology Demonstration Program. As a cooperating member of the European Space Agency (ESA), Canada is an active participant in the SMOS and Proba-2 missions. The Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) participation and funding of Earth Observation Space Technology Programs has enabled Canadian companies to actively contribute advanced technology for demonstration on these satellites. Overall, the CSA has invested approximately $7.5M in these missions. In addition, the CSA is also supporting the scientific exploitation of SMOS data through its Government Related Initiative Program.
Minister Clement Announces Government Investments in Innovative Canadian Technologies
On November 12, 2009, the Honourable Tony Clement, then Minister of Industry and the Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), announced an investment of over $8 million in 26 research and development contracts. The 26 contracts were awarded through the CSA's Space Technology Development Program (STDP) which issues periodic Requests for Proposals to identify and support the development and demonstration of strategic space technologies.
First Experiment to Study How Trees Make Wood in Space
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Robert (Bob) Thirsk began the new Advanced Plant EXperiments on Orbit (APEX-Cambium) study, a CSA-funded project led by Canadian researcher Dr. Rodney Savidge of the University of New Brunswick. APEX-Cambium is designed to determine if reaction wood, a soft, pulpy wood that grows on the upper sides of horizontally-inclined trees on Earth, will develop in the near-weightless environment. Results will indicate if gravity is a key factor in this biological process, which could provide vital insights to the pulp & paper and construction industries, and enhance scientists' general understanding of how wood develops in trees.
Canadian Astronaut Robert Thirsk Lands on Earth Writing a New Chapter in Canadian Space Exploration History
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Robert Thirsk landed on the plains of Kazakhstan in a Russian Soyuz Capsule on December 1, 2009 after completing an exceptional 188-day mission in space, of which 186 days were spent living and working onboard the International Space Station (ISS). As a member of the first six-person crew onboard the ISS, Thirsk performed many vital science, technology, maintenance and education initiatives in support of the Canadian and international scientific communities. He was also part of the first 13-person assembly of humans in space, and welcomed his Canadian colleague Julie Payette to the station in July. Taking into account his STS-178 shuttle flight in 1996 and this first long-duration Canadian space flight, Thirsk spent a total of 206 days in space, surpassing the total number of days spent in space of all other Canadian astronauts combined, to date.
Canadian Astronaut Robert Thirsk Returns Home in Canada
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Robert Thirsk set foot in Canada for the first time, after successfully completing a six-month mission onboard the International Space Station. Steve MacLean, CSA President, along with Thirsk's colleagues and a Beaconsfield high school class, welcomed him back during an event held at the CSA headquarters in Longueuil, Québec. Robert Thirsk accomplished many "firsts" during this mission, namely becoming the first Canadian to fly onboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft which launched on May 27, 2009 and landed on December 1, 2009 in the plains of Kazakhstan. His spaceflight, totalled more than 125 million kilometers over his six-month stay (188 days). He orbited the Earth more than 2,900 times, spent more than 230 hours exercising and conducted about 236 hours of scientific research. For more information, please see Expedition 20/21.
International Space Station - Heads of Agencies
The heads of the International Space Station (ISS) agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met in Tokyo, Japan, on March 11, 2010, to review ISS cooperation. With the assembly of the ISS nearing completion and the capability to support a full-time crew of six established, they noted the outstanding opportunities now offered by the ISS for on-orbit research and for discovery including the operation and management of the world's largest international space complex.
The Heads of Agency reaffirmed the importance of full exploitation of the Station's scientific, engineering, utilization, and education potential. They noted that there were no identified technical constraints to continuing ISS operations beyond the current planning horizon of 2015 to at least 2020 and that the Partnership was working to certify on-orbit elements through 2028. The Heads of Agency expressed their strong mutual interest in continuing operations and utilization for as long as the benefits of ISS exploitation are demonstrated. They acknowledged that a U.S. fiscal year 2011 budget consistent with the U.S. Administration's budget request would allow the United States to support the continuation of ISS operations and utilization activities to at least 2020. They emphasized their common intent to undertake the necessary procedures within their respective governments to reach consensus on the continuation of the ISS to the next decade.
Successful Launch: Earth Observation Satellite CryoSat-2
On April 8, 2010, a Russian Dnepr rocket successfully launched at 9:57 (DST) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying aboard the satellite CryoSat-2.
CryoSat-2, a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite was placed into orbit 700 km above the Earth to measure the change and thickness of ice in the Arctic.
Through partial funding provided by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Canadian scientists and researchers contribute to this mission by analyzing and validating data captured by the satellite.
CryoSat-2, the most sophisticated satellite ever developed to study the Earth's ice fields, is designed to take 20 000 measurements per second over three years. The purpose of the mission is to gather data on the rate of change of the ice thickness with an accuracy of within one centimetre.
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield led the NASA Undersea Mission as commander of the crew of NEEMO 14 from May 10 to 23, 2010 to test exploration concepts in an undersea environment off the Florida coast. NEEMO 14 used the ocean floor to simulate exploration missions to the surface of asteroids, moons and Mars. While inside the Aquarius laboratory, the crew also performed life sciences experiments focused on human behavior, performance and physiology in extreme and isolated environments.
In recognition of his exceptional contribution to the Canadian Space Program, David A. Golden was presented with the prestigious John H. Chapman Award of Excellence before representatives of industry, academia, and government in a celebration held at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.
The Canadian Space Agency Invests in Concept Studies
The Canadian Space Agency has awarded two contracts to MDA and a contract to the University of Calgary to develop three different concept studies for Canada's participation in NASA's New Frontiers program—the next space mission to another celestial body in our solar system.
Under these contracts (valued at $500 000 each), MDA and the University of Calgary will work with international science teams to develop preliminary designs for three proposed missions, one of which will be selected by NASA for launch in the 2016-18 timeframe:
SAGE: MDA will develop a conceptual design for a robotic arm on a probe that would sample the rocks and atmosphere of Venus. If SAGE is selected by NASA, the mission would include researchers from the University of British Columbia.
MoonRise: MDA will develop a conceptual design for a 2.4-metre robotic arm for this lander that would probe the largest impact basin on the Moon and return samples to Earth for study. The Canadian science team is led by Gordon Osinski of The University of Western Ontario.
OSIRIS-REx: would collect samples from a primitive asteroid for return to Earth to help scientists better understand the formation of our solar system and the origin of complex molecules necessary for life. The University of Calgary will work with MDA on a concept for a science lidar instrument for the spacecraft (based in part on the Canadian-built laser on the Phoenix Mars Lander mission). The Canadian science team is led by Alan Hildebrand from the University of Calgary, with support from York University and the Universities of Winnipeg, Toronto and British Columbia.
Canadian Space Agency Contributing to 2016 Mars Mission
Joint US-Canadian Instrument Will Search for Signs of Life
On August 2, 2010, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced a shared leadership for a new science instrument designed to probe the atmosphere of Mars in search of biological sources of methane, and consequently, signs of life. The instrument, known as MATMOS, is a partnership between the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the CSA and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
MATMOS has been selected by NASA and the European Space Agency for launch on board the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, slated for launch in 2016.
MATMOS will help scientists attempt to solve the mystery of methane on Mars by confirming seasonal distribution patterns, and providing new interpretations of the origin of the gas on Mars.
PM Announces Support for Next Generation of Satellites
On August 25, 2010, in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced support for the next phase of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), a system of three advanced remote sensing satellites.
The RADARSAT Constellation marks the next phase of Canada's efforts to use space to Canadian advantage. From the unique vantage point of space, the RADARSAT Constellation will provide National Defence with daily coverage of Canada's land mass and ocean approaches from coast-to-coast-to-coast, especially in the Arctic, and support Canadian troops deployed on active service in Canada and abroad.
Harper Government Announces the First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced on September 2, 2010 that astronaut Chris Hadfield will return to space for a third time and become the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station (ISS).
Hadfield will launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in the Fall of 2012, and take command of the station during the second half of a six-month mission. This will be the second long-duration mission for a Canadian astronaut.
As an ISS flight engineer for the mission's first four months, Hadfield will carry out scientific experiments, robotics tasks and technology demonstrations. As a veteran space-walker, he may be called upon to step out into space to perform tasks around the station. With the rotation of three of the six-member crew in March 2013, Hadfield will assume the role of Commander of Expedition 35.
As ISS Commander, Hadfield will be responsible for the safety of the crew, ongoing operations, maintenance and equipment of the ISS, while ensuring that the scientific experiments are carried out on behalf of Canadian and international scientists. He may also be called upon to operate Canadarm2 to perform assembly and maintenance tasks on the ISS, and to grapple and berth spacecraft to the station.
Hadfield is scheduled to return to Earth in a Soyuz spacecraft, landing in Kazakhstan in May 2013.
AuroraMAX, an initiative to monitor the intensity and frequency of the Aurora Borealis, is officially launched. The project features an online observatory that provides live access to images of the northern lights.
Canadian Space Agency Awards Contract for Mars Exploration Technologies
The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract valued at $6 million (CAD) to MDA to develop a terrestrial prototype of a science rover for Mars exploration. The investment is part of the Government of Canada's 2009 Economic Action Plan and aims to accelerate the development of technologies for space exploration.
Canadian Space Agency Awards Contrat for Exploration Technologies
The Canadian Space Agency awarded a contract valued at $3 million (CAD) to Engineering Services Inc. (ESI) of Toronto, Ontario, to develop prototypes of a robotic arm, control stations and exploration tools. These technologies are to be integrated into terrestrial prototypes of lunar or martian rovers. The contract also includes an option for a second arm worth $500 000. The investment is part of the Government of Canada's 2009 Economic Action Plan and aims to accelerate the research and development of new technologies for space exploration.
Prototypes like this robotic arm are used to demonstrate end-to-end operations of rovers and their payloads in realistic terrestrial field tests, reproducing key conditions of space missions. The technologies developed for the project may also be used in a variety of applications on Earth by advancing robotic autonomy and enhancing the ways robots sense their surroundings in unstructured environments.
Canadian Satellite RADARSAT-1 Celebrating 15 Years of Service to Canada and the World
Canada's Earth Observation Program made a giant leap on November 4, 1995 when RADARSAT-1 was launched and placed into orbit some 800 kilometres above the Earth. This event marked the beginning of the RADARSAT Program, an initiative that continues to deliver outstanding service to Canada and the world – for the past 15 years and counting.
RADARSAT-1 is ideally suited to supporting these tasks because of its wide range of beams, microwave based Synthetic Aperture Radar technology, frequent revisit times, high-quality products and fast, efficient delivery.
RADARSAT-1 maps the world, capturing images day and night in all weather conditions. RADARSAT-1 provides images used in ice services, cartography, agriculture, oceanography, hydrology and forestry. Its data is also used to support safety, sovereignty and security especially in the arctic and in surveillance of Canada's coastal approaches. RADARSAT-1 is a critical space asset supporting emergency response, rescue, humanitarian aid and relief efforts both here in Canada and around the world, through the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters.
CSA Broadens its Partnerships
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is accepted as a full member of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC). This committee is an international governmental forum for the worldwide coordination of activities related to the issues of man-made and natural debris in space.
The primary purposes of the IADC are to exchange information on space debris research activities between member space agencies, to facilitate opportunities for cooperation in space debris research, to review the progress of ongoing cooperative activities, and to identify debris mitigation options.
Canadian Space Agency Awarding Contracts for Terrestrial Prototypes: Lunar Exploration Rovers
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) awarded two contracts valued at $11.5 million each to MDA and Neptec Design Group of Ottawa. Each company will develop two fully functional terrestrial prototypes of a lunar rover that could one day be part of a future space exploration mission. The investment flows from the Government of Canada's 2009 Economic Action Plan, and aims to accelerate the development of terrestrial prototypes and their associated technologies to prepare Canada to play a credible role in future international exploration opportunities.
MDA and Neptec will each design, build and test prototypes of a Lunar Exploration Light Rover that can explore for resources and perform science experiments. The prototypes will be about the size of an all-terrain vehicle, weighing less than 1000 kg, and will be designed to carry a variety of tools and equipment. These semi-autonomous vehicles will be commanded by a remote operator, but will be able to make some decisions without the need for human intervention, like travelling between two points of interest.
Prototypes like the lunar rover are used to demonstrate end-to-end operations of rovers and their payloads in realistic terrestrial field tests, reproducing key conditions of space missions and reducing the risks associated with such large-scale projects.
Europe and Canada: Partners in Space/A Model of International Co-Operation
Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a new Cooperation Agreement between Canada and ESA in Paris on December 15, 2010, thereby renewing until 2020 an outstanding 30-year partnership to foster cooperation in space science and technology.
This formal partnership with ESA is of strategic importance for the delivery of the Canadian Space Program. Canada's cooperation with ESA provides our industry and scientists with access and opportunities to develop their knowhow and to demonstrate their capability to existing and potential European partners. It enables the creation of teaming arrangements between Canadian and European industries, thereby fostering competitiveness and the opening of new markets for Canadian industry. Academia and the Government of Canada rely on the ESA data, science and technologies to support science as well as operational needs. Areas of investment include Earth Observation, Satellite Communications, Navigation, and Space Exploration – all fields in which Canadian industry has a competitive and recognized expertise.
Dextre gets his diploma!
Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency's robotic handyman aboard the International Space Station (ISS), successfully passed his final exam on December 23, 2010 and is now officially certified for duty.
While riding on the end of Canadarm2, Dextre performed a series of steps to remove a 442-kg storage box known as a cargo transport carrier (a generic platform for ISS cargo and payloads) and relocate it to another worksite a short distance away. The move was necessary to free up the worksite for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, scheduled for delivery on STS-134 (the final Space Shuttle flight) in 2011.
2011 - 2012
Canadian astronomers unveil a new survey of the Universe
Canadian astronomers who are members of an international team unveiled the first results produced by the Planck Space Telescope.
Launched in 2009, the Planck Space Telescope has nearly completed three of its four planned surveys of the entire sky. The goal of the Planck is to study the oldest source of light in the Universe, which will reveal more details about the formation and evolution of the Universe. However, the radiation left over from the Big Bang is distorted by objects in the foreground, like galaxies, stars, gas and dust. The Planck team has produced a guidebook of 10,000 foreground objects that will become targets for future study, including several new astronomical structures.
The Planck Space Telescope will continue to survey the Universe, with its next data release scheduled for January 2013.
The Planck Space Telescope mission is led by the European Space Agency, and includes contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The CSA funds two Canadian research teams that are part of the Planck science collaboration, and who participated in the development of both of Planck's science instruments, the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) and the High Frequency Instrument (HFI). Professor Douglas Scott of the University of British Columbia is leading the Canadian LFI team. The HFI team is led by Professor J. Richard Bond of the University of Toronto. For more information on Planck.
Important funding for nanomedicine research to improve diagnosis and treatment
On March 16, 2011, seven new research projects on regenerative medicine and nanomedicine received $16 million in funding. The studies, co-funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), were announced at the University of Toronto by Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa; Dr. Jane Aubin, Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis; Mr. Gilles Leclerc, Director General, Space Exploration at the Canadian Space Agency; and Professor Peter Lewis, Associate Vice President (Research) at the University of Toronto.
Research on nanomedicine and regenerative medicine is designed to prevent disease and improve human health. Nanomedicine delivers medical technologies that detect or function at the molecular level to diagnose and treat disease, while regenerative medicine stimulates the renewal of bodily tissues and organs or restores function through natural and bioengineered means. Various innovations in these areas have helped combat vascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other chronic diseases. By promoting research in these areas, CIHR and CSA will be moving Canada to the forefront of modern medical research.
50 Years of Human Space Flight – A World-Wide Celebration
On April 12, 2011, the Canadian Space Agency united with space-faring nations from around the world to celebrate a milestone in human spaceflight history, the 50th anniversary of the first human space flight with Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin).
Canadarm2 Turns 10: Canadian Space Agency Celebrates a Decade of Success
April 19, 2011 marked the tenth anniversary of Canadarm2, a 17-metre long robotic arm essential to the International Space Station's construction and operations.
Canadarm2 was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 19, 2001, aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. A larger, more robust successor to the Shuttle's Canadarm, Canadarm2 has provided a full decade of flawless service as the Station's sophisticated "construction crane," having assembled the ISS module by module in space.
Canadarm2 has unloaded hundreds of tons of equipment and supplies ferried by the shuttle and assisted almost 100 spacewalks. Endeavour's last flight later the same month marked Canadarm2's 28th Shuttle mission. Additionally, the robotic arm performed two "cosmic catches" where it captured, docked and later released two unpiloted Japanese resupply ships (HTV-1 and HTV-2).
Built for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in Brampton, Ontario, by MDA, Canadarm2 was installed on the ISS by astronaut Chris Hadfield during the first spacewalk by a Canadian. He was assisted in this feat by NASA Astronaut Scott Parazynski. In 2006, Steve MacLean, former astronaut and current President of the Canadian Space Agency became the first Canadian ever to operate Canadarm2 in space. CSA astronauts Julie Payette and Robert Thirsk are the only other Canadians to have ever operated Canadarm2 in space. The robotic arm is routinely operated by flight controllers at NASA's Johnson Space Centre and the Canadian Space Agency's headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.
Canadarm2's role on the International Space Station will expand as the orbital lab nears completion: in addition to performing routine maintenance, the robotic arm will make more frequent cosmic catches. When the Space Shuttle retires, reusable commercial spacecraft, like SpaceX's Dragon and Orbital's Cygnus, will be used to bring supplies and equipment to the ISS. Canadarm2 will capture each of these visiting vehicles, as well as the Japanese HTV transport vessels. In late 2011 and early 2012, Canadarm2 will capture a series of 6 commercial spacecraft in just 7 months, beginning with the Dragon spacecraft, currently scheduled to arrive in October 2011.
Canadian Astronauts Launch an Out-of-this-World Exhibition: Living in Space
On May 12, 2011, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Steve MacLean launched the Living in Space interactive exhibition at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, accompanied by former and current astronauts Chris Hadfield, Robert Thirsk, Bjarni Tryggvason, Dave Williams, Julie Payette, Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques.
The "Living in Space" exhibition provides a unique opportunity for visitors to discover how astronauts work, entertain themselves and tackle basic tasks like eating, sleeping and personal hygiene in a weightless environment. It combines multimedia special effects and astronaut artefacts to create an immersive learning environment where visitors can learn about the challenges of daily life in space and the innovations in science and technology that have been developed for human spaceflight. It features space artefacts from astronaut missions like Robert Thirsk's sleeping bag, Chris Hadfield's space guitar and Julie Payette's flightsuit.
This exhibition is part of the CSA's national awareness and learning campaign that is reaching out to Canadians in their own communities to raise interest among youth in pursuing studies and careers in science, engineering and technology. A permanent exhibit is at the Aviation and Space Museum and a travelling version of Living in Space will visit science centers and museums across Canada.
Henry Buijs Receives Canadian Space Award
On May 13, 2011, in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the Canadian Space Program, Dr. Henry Buijs was presented with the prestigious John H. Chapman Award of Excellence at the Canadian Space Agency's annual celebration, in the company of representatives from industry, academia, and government as well as former and current Canadian Astronauts.
Established in 2000 and presented by the Canadian Space Agency to distinguished members of the space community, this award celebrates a remarkable contribution to the advancement of the Canadian Space Program and a lifetime of achievement in space science and technology. The recipient of the John H. Chapman Award of Excellence is selected by a committee chaired by the Agency's President. With this award, the Canadian Space Agency honours John H. Chapman's foresight and his lifetime of dedication to space innovation, ingenuity, and excellence. Past recipients include: David A. Golden, Peter C. Hughes, Allan I. Carswell, John D. MacNaughton, Larry Clarke, Gordon G. Shepherd, Colin A. Franklin, Val O'Donovan, and John S. MacDonald.
Canadian Microbolometer Sensor Focusing on Oceans, Fires and Volcanoes
Canada's Earth Observation Program reached new heights with the successful launch of the 4th Argentinian Satélite de Aplicaciones Cientificas (SAC-D) aboard a Delta II rocket on June 10, 2011.
The InfraRed Sensor Technology (NIRST) instrument, jointly developed by Canada and Argentina, will be put into low Earth orbit together with seven other instruments on this five-year international partnership mission.
The NIRST instrument is designed to retrieve temperatures of the surface of the ocean and the hot spots such as forest fires and volcanic activities.
The microbolometer sensors, which are the heart of the NIRST instrument, were designed and investigated through Research and Development activities at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and subsequently microfabricated and space qualified by the Quebec-based company INO.
The final flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis took place on July 8, 2011, at 11:26 a.m. EDT. This was the last mission of the Space Shuttle program.
Atlantis carried equipment for a joint NASA-CSA robotic refueling test. The Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) is an external International Space Station (ISS) experiment that uses Dextre, a space robot, to demonstrate and test the tools, technologies and techniques engineers on Earth would need to robotically refuel satellites in space—even satellites not designed to be serviced. The test took place approximately six months after STS-135.
Canadian content aboard Atlantis:
The TriDAR technology was further tested on board the Space Shuttle. The Triangulation and LIDAR Automated Rendezvous and Docking system provides critical guidance information that can be used to position a vehicle during rendezvous and docking operations. Unlike current technologies, TriDAR does not rely on any reference markers, such as reflectors, positioned on the target spacecraft. It counts on a laser-based 3D sensor and a thermal imager. The TriDAR technology is developed by Neptec Design group with funding from the CSA and NASA.
The last Canadian science experiment for the Space Shuttle, Hypersole, was designed to determine changes in human skin sensitivity before and after spaceflight, and whether these changes are related to balance control.
Data from Hypersole is expected to make a significant contribution to existing studies of the aging process and reductions in information relayed by skin sensors that lead to a loss of balance control and, among the elderly especially, a greater incidence of falls. The data will also provide knowledge that benefits astronauts as they perform their flight and post-flight duties.
STS-135 carried tomato seeds as part of the Tomatosphere project. The seeds, sealed in a plastic bag, will be left on the International Space Station for up to 36 months in order to be exposed to the on-orbit environment. The tomato seeds will then be brought back to Earth and distributed to participating classrooms so that students can plant them and observe their germination rates.
This project has reached 83,285 classrooms, or approximately 2,040,000 Canadian students, since the seeds were first distributed in 2001.
This flight marked the Canadarm's 90th mission since it first flew on Shuttle Columbia on STS-2, in 1981.
Canadian astronauts have flown 14 times on the Space Shuttle.
RADARSAT-2 data contributes to a new understanding of Antarctic terrain
Imagery acquired from the Canadian satellite RADARSAT-2 has enabled the landmark discoveries announced by University of California (UCI) researchers on August 18, 2011.
Previously unmapped glaciers of Antarctica have been charted by accessing imagery collected from Canadian, European and Japanese satellites. Using NASA technology, the researchers have discovered unique terrain features that indicate the direction and velocity of ice in Antarctica. This provides invaluable insight into ice melt and future sea rise due to climate change.
The full continental coverage of Antarctica was made possible due to the unique capabilities of RADARSAT-2 to image left and capture data and information over the central part of the continent. This capability allowed the capture of data over the full land mass, from South Pole to coast, imagery that is at the heart of the discovery made by the UCI researchers.
This endeavour was coordinated by the International Polar Year (IPY) Space Task Group and was only possible through the collective effort of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mission Coordination Group. International contributors include the CSA, NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Two New Canadian Astronauts Certified
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced on September 8, 2011 that its two new astronauts, Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques, had successfully completed their two-year basic training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut David Saint-Jacques Participates in NASA Undersea Mission
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced that Canadian Space Agency Astronaut David Saint-Jacques had been assigned to his first mission. He took part in NEEMO 15 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations), in which he tested exploration concepts in an undersea environment off the Florida coast. The mission began October 17, 2011.
NEEMO 15 is the first undersea mission to simulate a visit to an asteroid. Challenges relevant to exploring a gravity-weak asteroid will be undertaken, including how to anchor to the surface, how to move around and how best to collect data. The simulated exploration activities were coordinated with the “DeepWorker” submersibles and techniques were evaluated. The "DeepWorker" submersibles--one-seater submarines that act as underwater analogues for the Space Exploration Vehicle--were built and developed by Nuytco in British Columbia, Canada.
The astronauts simulated spacewalks and worked closely with submersibles as if they were on an asteroid and gained valuable knowledge that could be applied to the exploration of an asteroid.
NEEMO 15 consisted of a multi-disciplinary team that took part in a 13-day mission aboard Aquarius, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) underwater facility.
David is the fourth Canadian astronaut to be a crew member of a NEEMO mission. Dave Williams participated in NEEMO 1 (2001) and NEEMO 9 (2006), Robert Thirsk took part in NEEMO 7 (2004) and Chris Hadfield served as commander of NEEMO 14 (2010).
NEEMO missions are designed to test equipment and techniques applicable to space exploration. The crews live aboard Aquarius, venturing from it on simulated spacewalks where they can operate a deployable robotic arm and perform research and drills pertinent to mission objectives. Aquarius is located 19 meters below the surface, 5.6 kilometres off Key Largo in the Florida Keys.
Canadian Space Agency Invests in Exploration Ideas
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) awarded six contracts to four organizations to develop concept studies in areas related to future space exploration ventures. The studies are part of the CSA's strategy to invest in emerging ideas that could become Canada's next revolutionary technologies, like a high resolution Canadian-led space telescope; robots to remove space debris and tune-up ailing satellites; an instrument to measure the composition of the atmosphere of planets; and a device that measures radiation exposure more accurately.
Under these contracts (valued at $250 000 each), each supplier will develop preliminary designs for six mission concepts:
The Canadian Space Telescope Mission: COM DEV (Ottawa) and its industry partners will work with a large team of astronomers on a design for a Canadian-led space telescope.
The Clear Sky Project: Led by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), a consortium of Canadian industrial and academic organizations will build on Canada's heritage in space robotic servicing to design a robotic vehicle to remove space debris and clear pathways for valuable orbital tracks for new satellites.
Mission for Orbital Debris Elimination: Under this contract, COM DEV and its Canadian partners will develop a mission concept for state-of-the-art Canadian robotics; visualisation systems; guidance, navigation and control technologies; and techniques to tackle the growing concern of space debris, which poses a risk to satellites.
Canadian On-Orbit Automated Servicing Experiment: MDA will prepare a concept study for an experimental payload on the International Space Station (ISS) to demonstrate the critical technologies and techniques required to capture a satellite.
Compact Fourier Transform Spectrometer for Space Exploration: ABB Canada (Quebec City) will demonstrate a lightweight, low-cost, low-consumption science instrument to probe the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere.
Canadian Sweeping Energetic Particle Telescope (SWEPT): Developed by the University of Alberta together with industrial and academic partners, this study will propose technology for modelling radiation dose and more accurate measurement of radiation exposure on the International Space Station (ISS), for future missions to the Moon or Mars.
Canadarm Turns 30: Canadian Space Agency Salutes Three Decades of Industry Innovation
Canadarm, Canada's national icon of technological innovation, made its space debut on the U.S. Space Shuttle on November 13, 1981. Designed to deploy and retrieve space payloads, the robotic arm quickly became a critical element in the Space Shuttle Program. It worked flawlessly for 90 Shuttle missions, spending a total of 944 days in space and travelling the equivalent of over 624 million km.
Some of the Canadarm's most famous achievements include retrieving the Hubble Space Telescope for repair, connecting the two first modules of the International Space Station (ISS) and inspecting the Shuttle's heat shield to ensure its safe return to Earth. The design and construction of the Canadarm marked the beginning of Canada's close collaboration with NASA in human space flight, leading to the creation of Canada's corps of astronauts.
While the Canadarm was retired after the Space Shuttle's final flight in July 2011, the arm's legacy lives on through the suite of Canadian robots on board the ISS, as well as the innovations in robotic prototyping being done under the Next-Generation Canadarm Program. The Canadarm has also inspired several generations of scientists and engineers to develop new technologies for industry, medicine, and other applications, such as neuroArm (an ultra-precise robot for neurosurgery) and KidsArm for pediatric surgery.
The Maple Leaf Returns to Mars: Canadian science instrument launches on board NASA's Mars Science Laboratory
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is Mars bound once again with the launch of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:02 a.m. Eastern. Estimated Arrival on Mars: August 6, 2012. The mission carries a Canadian science instrument known as the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), which will probe the chemistry of rocks and soils on Mars to help determine if the Red Planet ever was, or could still be today, an environment able to support microbial life.
The size of a small car, MSL's rover—named Curiosity—is a mobile geology lab equipped with the largest, most advanced suite of science instruments ever to land on Mars. Curiosity will analyze samples on site to determine whether Mars was ever a habitable planet, characterize the climate and geology of Mars, and pave the way for human exploration. APXS is one of 10 science instruments on Curiosity. It will determine the chemical composition of Martian rocks and soil samples to establish their geological history, identify possible alterations by water and perform sample triage for the on-board laboratory instruments. It will be used regularly throughout the mission, which is planned to last one full Martian year (687 Earth days).
An improved version of the instruments on Pathfinder, Spirit, and Opportunity, this latest version of APXS was developed specifically for MSL under the scientific leadership of Dr. Ralf Gellert of the University of Guelph, Principal Investigator for APXS. Dr. Gellert also heads the APXS science team, which is composed of members from the University of Guelph, the University of New Brunswick, the University of Western Ontario, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (a division of Caltech), the University of California, San Diego, Cornell University and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The Canadian Space Agency is investing $17.8 million in the design, building, primary operations and scientific support of APXS. The CSA managed the development and building of the instrument with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) as the prime contractor for APXS. The University of Guelph provided the scientific direction for the design and engineering support during the development, calibrated the APXS instrument and will lead the science operations for the instrument. Components of APXS were tested in Brampton, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Guelph.
AuroraMAX Connects to the International Space Station
ISS astronauts Don Pettit and Dan Burbank were on standby for six weeks to photograph the Northern Lights for AuroraMAX, a public engagement initiative dedicated to promoting the science and the splendour of the aurora borealis. AuroraMAX is a collaboration between the University of Calgary, the City of Yellowknife, Astronomy North and the Canadian Space Agency, and features an online observatory that broadcasts the aurora live from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
When the forecast called for active aurora, AuroraMAX alerts were issued to invite skywatchers to view the auroras live online, while the astronauts on board the ISS photographed the aurora over Canada. After each session, the astronauts beamed their images back to Earth and within 48 hours, the public was able to compare the imagery captured from Yellowknife with photos taken from the vantage point of space from the ISS.
Since the International Space Station orbits Earth at about 370 km in altitude—and the curtains of light stretch from around 100 km to well above 400 km—the pilot project offered the public an astronaut's eye view of the aurora.
Harper Government renews commitment to the International Space Station
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency announced on February 29 Canada's intention to renew its commitment to the International Space Station (ISS). Alongside Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency, Minister Paradis also unveiled two unique space projects, MicroFlow and Lab on a CD, designed to accelerate how patients are diagnosed, in space and on Earth.
Lab on a CD, a project led by Dr. Michel G. Bergeron of the Infectious Disease Research Centre at Laval University, is a prototype of an ultrafast, highly sensitive and fully automated medical diagnostic test unit. The technology is close to a major breakthrough: real-time diagnostics of infectious diseases at the patient's point of care. Lab on a CD can perform sophisticated genetic analysis of samples in just minutes. With $150,000 in funding from the Canadian Space Agency, Dr. Bergeron and his team have successfully tested the technology in microgravity during parabolic flights. Supported by Canada's Cooperation Agreement with the European Space Agency, the project has received $1.1 million to carry out the development of this prototype through the European Life and Physical Sciences Program. Through this program the project is currently developing a concept for a system that will perform bioanalysis on the ISS.
Microflow is a technology demonstration platform developed by the National Optics Institute (INO). Following an initial investment of $300,000 for testing, the Canadian Space Agency awarded INO a contract of $2.3 million in 2011 to design, build, and test the first generation of a transportable flow cytometer for use on the ISS. Flow cytometers are used for a range of bioanalysis and clinical applications to diagnose health disorders. The goal of Microflow is to test INO's novel fibre-optic approach, enabling the realization of a miniaturized, portable and robust cytometer technology. This technology is ideal for use in space and in-field terrestrial bioanalysis. The Microflow test platform will be introduced on the ISS with Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield, in December 2012.
International Space Station Heads of Agencies Meeting
The heads of the International Space Station (ISS) agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met in Québec City, Canada, on March 1, 2012, to review the scientific, technological, and social benefits being produced through their collaboration, and to discuss plans for further broadening these benefits by continuing to advance the human exploration of space.
In reviewing the history of ISS development and the recent transition to a productive research and applications phase, three major areas of success were discussed: the historic engineering achievements, the unprecedented international partnership, and the ongoing progress being made through science. The heads noted that human exploration of space continues to yield valuable benefits to society and is strengthening partnerships among space-faring nations.
Robotic Refueling Mission in Space: Fueling up in Space
On March 7, 2012 Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) most dexterous robot tackled a new task. CSA and NASA launched a joint project called the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM). The demonstration used Dextre, the CSA's robotic handyman on board the International Space Station (ISS) to test how satellites could be refueled in space even if they were not designed to be.
Dextre's Most Dexterous Task: Canadian Space Agency Robot Sets Record for Precision
Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency's robotic handyman on board the International Space Station (ISS), accomplished the most intricate work ever performed by a robot in space. Over three days (March 7-9, 2012), Dextre successfully concluded the initial phases of the Robotic Refueling Mission with unprecedented precision. A collaboration between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, the Robotic Refueling Mission was designed to demonstrate the ability of using robots to refuel and service existing satellites in space—especially those not designed for repair. The mission also marked the first time Dextre was used for a technology research and development demonstration on board the Station.
Canadarm2 performed a cosmic catch by grappling the Dragon capsule and attaching it to the International Space Station. Dragon is the first commercial spacecraft to dock to the Station.
The French Space Agency (CNES) has identified a Canadian site for the launch of space science balloons. The initiative will provide Canadian scientists and engineers with a new experiment platform.
Canada's contribution to the James Webb Space Telescope is delivered. Canada is providing Webb's Fine Guidance Sensor, which will keep the telescope on target, as well as the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph, to help find the earliest and most distant objects in the Universe.
The Mars Science Laboratory (NASA) touched down on the Red Planet. The mission's rover, dubbed Curiosity, carries a Canadian instrument. Known as the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, the device will probe the chemistry of rocks and soil on Mars.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield returns to space for a third time and will become the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station during the second half of his six-month mission.
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