Canada is mentioned five times in the US Human Spaceflight Plans Committee Report. Three are general references to Canada’s participation in the space station Freedom and the International Space Station. The other mentions are more significant.
The first deals with Canada’s access to the space station after the shuttle fleet is retired.
How will U.S. crew be transported to the ISS after Shuttle retirement? The U.S. will depend on Russian launches until a new U.S. spacecraft and human-capable launch vehicle become operational. For several years the U.S. will pay Russia to transport our astronauts to the ISS. Further, under existing international agreements, the U.S. is responsible for transporting astronauts from Canada, Japan, and the European Space Agency to the ISS, so the U.S. will presumably also be paying Russia for their transport. This period is now expected to extend for seven years.
And the second identifies Canada’s capabilities. This is rather important as it will have direct bearing on future partnerships with the US space program as they decide how to move forward and what their partners will bring to the table.
International Space Capabilities. The following summarizes the extent of demonstrated activities in space by nations other than the U.S.
Canada. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is a partner in the ISS with significant experience in human operations in space. CSA has specialized in robotics and teleoperated systems, but also has extensive experience in remote sensing, radar, on-orbit servicing, communications and space science.