Short Cuts: Free Trade with EU a Problem for Industry, GHGSat Celebrates Milestone and More

In today’s Short Cuts: Industry sources tell SpaceRef Canada they have serious concerns over the free trade deal with the European Union. GHGSat, which hopes to launch two new satellites in the short term, passes a milestone with its Claire satellite. The National Research Council announces an Enhanced Virtual Observatory for the scientific community and more.

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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

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.

Free Trade Deal With Europe a Serious Cause for Concern for Canadian Space Industry, SpaceRef Canada

Free trade agreements are by there very nature a means of increasing trade between two or more countries. In the case of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the deal Prime Minister Trudeau signed in Brussels on October 30th could have a significant negative effect on Canada’s domestic space industry. Industry sources SpaceRef Canada spoke to are very concerned, with one saying the deal appeared lopsided.

Claire Makes 500th Measurement!, GHGSat

On 09 December 2016, Claire performed her 500th measurement – this time of a cement plant in South Africa. All satellite systems continue to operate normally, and GHGSat plans to double Claire’s measurement rate as of early 2017.

As we reach the end of 2016, GHGSat celebrates an exciting year by offering some samples of images collected by Claire in orbit and analyzed by the team on the ground.

The first set of images below is from summer 2016, during Claire’s commissioning.

Enhanced “Virtual Observatory” to Benefit Canada’s Larger Scientific Research Community, National Research Council

Enhanced astronomy “virtual observatory” to benefit Canada’s larger scientific research community

One of the world’s foremost astronomy research platforms is being enhanced through a new multi-year collaboration between the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Compute Canada. The collaboration will bring new “big science” data management and processing capabilities to a much larger research community.

The project is called C3TP for short in reference to the “three Cs Transition Project”: the National Research Council’s Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC), Compute Canada and the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR) platform (established on Compute Canada infrastructure).

Dextre to Ring in the New Year with a Herculean Battery Replacement Mission, Canadian Space Agency

Beginning on December 31, 2016, Dextre will tackle his most intensive robotics operations to date. The Canadian robotic handyman will methodically remove nine old nickel-hydrogen batteries on the International Space Station (ISS), and replace them with six new, more efficient lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates. The batteries are critical to ISS operations, since they store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. Dextre’s marathon mission will last a record 16 days, continuing on until January 15, 2017.

Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) 2016 Proceeding Book is Published, Canadian Science Policy Centre

In collaboration with iPolitics, the 2016 Proceeding book is published in digital magazine format. The book contains reports, articles and take away messages of the panels. You can read online here or download the book here (PDF).

Université du Québec à Montréal Looking for Participants

Université du Québec à Montréal’s Équipe de recherche en éducation scientifique et technologique (EREST) is looking for participants in a study that uses learning the constellations and bright stars to create optimal learning sequences. To participate, you simply have to answer three 15-minute round of questions directly on your computer, tablet or phone, each round separated by a pause as long as you wish. Your answers will remain anonymous and will contribute to the advancement of science education research.

To maximize the statistical significance of the results, we are looking for as many participants as possible; your participation is thus very important and will be very appreciated.

To find out more or to begin, simply click on the following link:

If you have questions or comments about our research, please contact us at We invite you to share this invitation with anyone interested, such members of your astronomy club, parents, friends, etc.

Thank you for your help advancing science education research!

Martin Riopel, Pierre Chastenay, Patrice Potvin, and Patrick Charland
Members of EREST and professors, Université du Québec à Montréal

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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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