In December 2008 members of the Canadian space community gathered in Montreal for the 6th Canadian Space Exploration Workshop (CSEW6) sponsored and hosted by the Canadian Space Agency. The report, dated May 30, 2009, was released to the public today.
The report outlines potential Canadian science and medical contributions to the exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond. The release of this document could suggest that the long awaited Long Term Space Plan could be released soon.
The 90 page report says that 10 clear directions emerged. They are:
- advanced life support
- Mars atmospheric studies
- operational space medicine
- planetary geology and geophysics
- radiation effects on humans
- solar terrestrial science
- space astronomy
- space life sciences
- space physical sciences
Of note the report states that Canadians are already making significant contributions in some of the areas mentioned above and that benefits to Canadian society from these activities is not limited to the space-related activities that started them. An example is tele-medicine used to help our northern populations.
The report goes on to say that the main benefits to Canada of participation in space exploration missions beyond Earth orbit are:
- Gaining scientific knowledge: Knowledge is the basis of innovation and progress.
- Accelerated development of cutting-edge technologies that will not only support these missions but also provide spin-offs to the general economy. Innovation is key to economic success.
- Generating interest in science and technology in young people from elementary
school to university and beyond.
Another important theme of the report is that space exploration beyond Earth orbit is beyond the capacity of any single nation and that Canada should seek to cooperate with other nations to further space exploration.
You can download the complete report here.