Short Cuts: The Commercial Ecosystem, SEDS Canada, Kepler Communications, Virtual Reality and More

In today’s Short Cuts: The final story in our series from the Canadian Space Policy Symposium is available, SEDS Canada offers an op-ed on the space programs budget and moves forward with their Young Space Entrepreneurs Competition, Kepler Communications makes a choice on a company to build their prototype satellites, the Canadian Space Agency funds a new study using virtual reality to help astronauts and more.

If you would like to submit a Short Cut, please email us at [email protected].

Note: SpaceRef Canada is now accepting Op-Ed’s from academia, industry and those professionally involved in the space sector. If you’re interested in submitting an Op-Ed use this form or by email to [email protected]

Op-Ed’s typically run from 400 to 1,200 words, but submissions of any length will be considered. All submissions must be original, and exclusive to SpaceRef Canada. We will not consider articles that have already been published, in any form, in print or online.

The Commercial Ecosystem from the 2016 Space Policy Symposium

In the previous two stories in this series I’ve focused on space policy from the stakeholders perspective in relation to Canada’s civil space program. In this final story I’m going to focus primarily on the commercial space policy.

At least half of the Canadian Space Policy Symposium schedule was dedicated to commercial space for ideas and opinions shared came from academia, industry, the investment community and government. This included three panel discussions.

The panels focused on Funding and Finance, Start-ups and Accelerators, and Leading Critical Technologies.

SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) Canada

Young Space Entrepreneurs Competition

SEDS Canada is once again holding its Young Space Entrepreneurs Competition. Here’s some details and of note they are holding a webinar December 4th.

YSPACE 2017 will run for just over 4 months. In this short period of time, students will receive a wealth of knowledge and advice from experts in this field through a series of webinars focused on startups in the space sector, as well as feedback on their proposed business plans. The top 5 teams will be invited to make their case to our judges at our conference, Ascension, on March 4, 2017.

Dec 4 2016, 16:00 ET – Information Session
January 30, 11:59 ET – Executive summaries due
February 13, 2017 – Top 5 teams invited to Ascension 2017
March 4, 2017 – Final round at Ascension 2017

Information Session

We will talk about this competition at an information session held on Dec 4, 16:00 ET, which
will be broadcast live on our YouTube channel. At this talk, we will describe the competition, offer a few tips and guidelines for your business plans, and answer questions from the audience and from social media with the hashtag #yspace2017.

Featured in this talk is a member from our Board of Advisors, Ryan Anderson. He will give an introduction to the Canadian and global commercial space landscape and talk about why this is an interesting time to start a space company. Ryan is an independent consultant in the space and satellite communications field with over 10 years experience. In the past he has worked for Urthecast and Telesat on leading edge space systems in communications and earth observation.

The Canadian Space Agency’s serious budget limitations are hurting the Canadian economy and are harming Canada’s future in space

With the first year of the new Liberal government in the rearview mirror, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Canada (SEDS-Canada) would like to take the opportunity to respond to the Canadian Space Agency’s serious budget limitations, which are causing a drain on the Canadian economy and are harming Canada’s future in space. The new federal government should comply with the 2012 Aerospace Review, which recommended stabilization of overall CSA funding in real dollars. Increasing CSA funding would help to renew interest and activity in the lagging Canadian space sector. Historically, a well-funded space sector has generated improvements in the quality of life of all Canadians.

Kepler Communications selects Clyde Space as Spacecraft Manufacturer

Kepler Communication has selected Clyde Space to build their two 3U CubeSat prototype satellites. Of note though, their proprietary sensor will be built by Kepler in their Toronto office.

Vection: Using virtual reality to test why some astronauts feel disoriented in space, Canadian Space Agency

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is funding a new Canadian study called Vection to gain a better understanding of the effects of reduced gravity on astronauts’ perception of self-motion, particularly how the brain interprets visual signals and how a moving astronaut may misinterpret acceleration as tilting.

China’s Marathon in Space: Peril or Opportunity?, European Space Policy Institute for China’s Policy Institute

After a hiatus of more than three years, taikonauts are once again in orbit for the longest and most complex space mission China has ever embarked upon. The spacecraft carrying astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong lifted-off from China’s Jiuquan spaceport in Inner Mongolia on 16 October 2016. After separating from the rocket’s upper stage, the spacecraft orbited around the Earth for two days and then successfully docked with the country’s new space laboratory. The two taikonauts will now remain in the module for one month, conducting a series of medical and scientific experiments as well as public outreach activities, before returning to Earth. The successful execution of the mission represents a formidable feat for China but, in fact, it is just one part of an even more ambitious and decades-long programme whose roots date back to the beginning of the space age.

Private sector increasingly involved in space, Canadian government investments remain scarce, Hill Times (Paywall)

As the Canadian Space Agency gets ready to launch a series of three earth observation satellites and private companies start to take more of a lead in space technology innovation, industry-insiders are hoping that the federal government’s much touted dedication to innovation and science will lead to further funding of the department.

Editor’s note: The annual Aerospace Policy Briefing by the Hill Times is out
and includes one story on the space sector and barely scratches the surface of the policy issues. The space sector it seems, hardly warrants much attention from the Hill Times.

Upcoming Noteworthy Events

ArticNet Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), December 5-9, 2016, Winnipeg

Queens Space Conference, “the Next Giant Leap”, February 3-5, 2017, Kingston

Earth Observation Summit 2017, June 20-22, 2017, Montreal

Know of an event we should be aware of? Email us at [email protected] or submit it using this form.

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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