While there is no definitive date as to when a new Canadian space strategy will be released, Minister Bains made the comment last Friday, which was reported by the Canadian Press, that the new strategy would be released “in the coming months”.
Specifically the Minister said “we haven’t determined the exact date, but it will be as soon as possible,” followed by “in plain English – in the coming months.”
Yes, that’s not much to go on but it’s more than we’ve heard this year.
The comment was made at MDA’s Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue facility where the minister announced $26.7 million in contracts from the Canadian Space Agency Space Technology Development Program.
The Minister might be feeling some pressure now that NASA has a new administrator and is starting to move quickly to implement the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G), also referred to as the Deep Space Gateway program. If Canada is to be a player in that program, with millions, if not hundreds of millions of technology development and contracts to come, then Canada must make a decision soon on its commitment. That is sentiment that was echoed at the recent CASI ASTRO 18 conference during the Canadian Space Agency Directors General panel.
That commitment would most likely have to come before the end of August, possibly sometime in late July. Come September NASA will likely want verbal commitments lined up as it closes its fiscal year (2018) and begins a new budget cycle (FY2019) on October 1.