A Look at Canada’s Space Exploration Decadal Plan

Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

In late 2016 the Canadian Space Agency convened a Space Exploration Workshop. It wasn’t the regular workshop convened every few years. This one had a goal of producing a Science and Space Health Priorities plan for the next decade.

The meeting was attended by over 200 university researchers along with industry and some students. After the workshop over 80 people who attended the meeting, and others, were grouped into eight topic teams to further the results of the workshop into a comprehensive plan.

The final plan was published in a report titled Canadian Space Exploration – Science and Space Health Priorities for Next Decade and Beyond, A Community Report from the 2016 Canadian Space Exploration Workshop and Topical Teams and released to the community a few months ago.

SpaceQ has obtained the 189 page report which you can download here.

The report is divided into three primary sections; Space Astronomy, Planetary Exploration and Space Health which are subdivided into their respective disciplines.

The report reflects the views of the community and it’s important to note that this detailed report is a blueprint of what Canada should be doing in the next 10 years. It’s now up to the Canadian Space Agency to follow up and implement the plan.

The easy part is currently being implemented, putting out requests for proposals for “preparatory studies for future missions or mission contribution options that CSA is supporting.” An example is last weeks Mars Sample Fetch Rover Concept Study. More studies are planned.

But a study is not a mission flown. The authors of the report hope that this plan will form the basis of the scientific  communities portion of any Long Term Space Plan the government puts into place that would take concept studies and turn them into actual missions flow.

According to the authors from “this report was designed to produce end-to-end roadmaps that could facilitate the kind of sustained, co-ordinated, career-following government investment recommended by the Fundamental Science Review.”

To discuss the report and workshop, SpaceQ spoke with Professor Chris Herd from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta for this weeks podcast. Herd was at the workshop and contributed to the report.

Listen in.

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About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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