Former astronauts Steve MacLean of the Canadian Space Agency and Charles Bolden of NASA, heads of their respective space agencies, signed a Framework Agreement in Washington today.
The Framework Agreement contains all the legal elements required under international law for the conduct of space cooperation projects. These include, among others, provisions relating to the transfer of data and goods, intellectual property rights and the cross-waiver of liability. The Agreement fosters and facilitates collaboration between government departments, scientists and the industrial sector by enabling the more technical aspects of cooperative projects to be drafted and undertaken through parallel implementing agreements.
“The United States has been a critical partner for Canada ever since the launch of Alouette in 1962. From these early beginnings, we have worked together to forge a space alliance that has become a catalyst, driving generations of space expertise, innovation, scientific and technological excellence through our participation in space projects that continue to serve the interests of both our nations.”, said Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency.
“NASA is very proud of its long and outstanding relationship with Canada, one that has been nurtured over the past four decades with increasing collaboration in a wide range of space science and exploration activities,” said NASA’s Bolden. “As NASA continues to enhance the scientific observation of our planet and the solar system, we are looking to Canada and our other international partners to play key roles in our future exploration plans.”
CSA cooperation with NASA has traditionally benefited the scientific and industrial communities as well as Canadian Government departments by providing access to scientific data, data sharing or joint applications development as part of the collaboration. Through the implementation of the Framework Agreement, the lead-time required for NASA and CSA to enter into project-specific implementing arrangements should be reduced, while increasing the participation of Canadian scientific and industrial expertise in project proposals with their NASA counterparts and contractors.