The Interview: MDA’s Canadian Future and the Critical Need for a New Space Strategy

RADARSAT Constellation Mission (3 satellites). Credit: MDA.

“We’re on a cliff.” That’s how Don Osborne, President of MDA’s Information Systems in Canada, described the current status in Canada without a new space strategy in place. But before you get too alarmed, Osborne did say he’s optimistic that the government is listening, which suggests that a new meaningful space strategy is forthcoming.

In the tenth episode of the SpaceQ podcast I spoke with Don Osborne, President of MDA’s Information Systems Group. Osborne’s role is to manage MDA’s operations in Canada, reporting to CEO Howard Lance who is based in San Francisco.

In my wide ranging interview, Osborne and I discussed MDA’s operations from coast to coast before transitioning to specific issues. Those issues included growth opportunities, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, workforce issues if the government doesn’t enact a new space strategy without new programs, Artificial Intelligence and space, UAV’s, Canadian defence procurement, the moon, Mars and other topics.

Osborne sees growth for MDA in Canada, in part driven by exports of communication and satellite subsystems out of Montreal, defence procurement and with the acquisition of DigitalGlobe. Where he’s concerned is with civil procurement and the lack of a national space strategy.

The Interview

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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.

One comment

  1. A space strategy that marries robotics and AI would be nice. A lunar rover could be an initial coherent goal.

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