The Canadian Space Agency got the green light to go ahead with the RADARSAT Constellation Mission as reported earlier. The governments Economic Action Plan provided the Canadian Space Agency with $110 million over three years in last years budget. Of that, it was reported that $10 million had been committed while another $36 million will be committed this year. The $36 million for this year is lower than the original $60 million allocated last year.
While the committed stimulus money is lower this year than expected it appears other parts of the CSA budget were left intact. This does not come as surprise. At the end of this month the government will release the 2010-2011 Report on Plans and Priorities for the CSA which will include the revised estimates for budgets in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
The $36 million of stimulus money this year will be spent on a Next Generation Canadarm and Exploration Surface Mobility projects. While the Exploration Surface Mobility projects comes as no surprise the Next Generation Canadarm does come as bit of surprise. NASA’s space shuttles are due to retire by 2011 and the International Space Station already has the Mobile Servicing System with a Next Generation Canadarm attached. Unless the Next Generation Canadarm the government is referring to is the Small Manipulator Arm request for proposal which was released last September. That would make sense as it goes with the other Exploration Surface Mobility projects.
The other notable item in the budget which relates to space technologies was the governments decision to remove existing restrictions on foreign ownership of Canadian satellites. This is meant to allow foreign capital to be invested in Canadian technologies.