The Space Advisory Board Provides a Fall Update

Minister Bains, astronaut Jeremy Hansen, Canadian Space Agency president Sylvain Laporte, MDA president Mike Greenley and representatives from some of the organizations that received funding through the Space Technology Development Program. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

Lucy Stojak, Chair of the Space Advisory Board has sent out an email update to Canadian stakeholders on recent activities of the board and what they have planned this fall.

Most of the items in the newsletter were known to the community. However, there were two items of notes. First, the Board plans on meeting with Minister Bains in “the coming weeks”. This is the first in-person meeting in a year, though they have met with the Minister’s representatives this year.

Secondly, the board met with U.S. government officials at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa on September 17. The meeting included NASA’s William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations. Gerstenmaier is key figure in the Lunar Orbital-Platform Gateway program and it’s more than likely a discussion of Canada’s possible role in that program was discussed among other things. The U.S. is hoping Canada will commit to this long-term program.

Space Advisory Board letter

Dear stakeholders,

As the Chair of the Space Advisory Board, I hope this newsletter finds you well rested after the summer and poised for the fall. This summer was indeed a busy one! The Board provided updated advice to the Minister on Canadian space opportunities and risks in relation to global space trends as a follow on to our report Consultations on Canada’s Future in Space: What We Heard. We have also been in regular contact with the Minister’s office to provide advice and input as the Government moves forward on the development of a long-term vision for space; we continue to reinforce insights gained from Canadian stakeholders and to underscore the urgent need for Government action. Furthermore, we have been busy participating in multiple events across Canada and the U.S to highlight the benefits of space to Canadians and the importance of the Canadian space sector at home and abroad. Since our last update, Members of the Board have participated in the following events:

  • WILSON CENTER EVENT (https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/over-the-horizon-new-era-for-canada-us-space-cooperation) – On September 7, 2018, the Woodrow Wilson Center, based in Washington D.C., hosted a one-day conference on Canada-U.S. space cooperation. The Wilson Center convened a high-level strategic policy dialogue, as U.S. and Canadian officials (NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and CSA President Sylvain Laporte) and representatives from communications, robotics, and aerospace companies addressed civilian and military space, emerging threats, and new technologies. Experts also examined how government and industry can work together on principles, norms, and institutions that will ensure responsible human activity in a changing space domain. Space Advisory Board members Mac Evans, Lucy Stojak and Mike Pley participated on panel discussions throughout the conference to provide expertise on Canada’s space history, international space regulations and Canada’s civilian space program.
  • SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEETING IN OTTAWA WITH U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS – On September 17, 2018 several members of the Board met with William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations at NASA along with representatives from the State Department, Department of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy to Canada. The discussion was focused around NASA’s future space exploration plans and how to better leverage commercial space. Canada’s opportunities in future space projects/programs were also discussed.
  • DIGITAL ROUNDTABLES (https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/084.nsf/eng/home) – Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada had digital innovation leaders host roundtable discussions in cities across Canada with business, academia, civil society and others. The Space Advisory Board participated in a number of these roundtables.
  • LET GO CANADA: SECURING CANADA’S PLACE IN SPACE (https://dontletgocanada.ca/) – On September 17, 2018 a coalition of Canadian space stakeholders representing industry, academia and the space enthusiast community had an event at iPolitics to raise awareness of Canada’s accomplishments in space. The event was focused around the findings of the public opinion research by Ipsos with an expert panel representing different views on the sector. The panel participants included two Board members, Kate Howells and Mike Pley.
  • U.S. EMBASSY OTTAWA AND ACTUA PRESENT A VIDEO CHAT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (https://ca.usembassy.gov/ottawa-students-to-video-chat-with-american-canadian-astronaut-drew-feustel-current-commander-of-the-international-space-station/) – On Friday, September 21, 2018 the United States Embassy in Ottawa, in partnership with Actua, Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering and math outreach organization, hosted a video chat between local Ottawa elementary school students, stakeholders, and American-Canadian astronaut Drew Feustel at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. Drew is currently aboard the International Space Station and is Commander of its 56th mission. Kate Howells participated in a panel discussion on STEM with Drew’s wife, Indira Feustel; the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; and the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and Canada’s first astronaut in space.
  • FIRESIDE CHAT WITH CANADIAN ASTRONAUTS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYfzRkCLY0c) – On Friday, September 21, 2018, at the University of Ottawa, Space Advisory Board Member Mac Evans attended an event of nine Canadian Astronauts participating in a panel discussion on Canada’s role in space exploration. Points of discussion included ‘New Space’, next steps for Canadian space exploration, the changing roles of astronauts, the importance of space, STEM programs, and international collaboration.

The Board will be participating in additional upcoming fall events to continue to engage with the public and to build momentum. These events include the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s Space Conference, the Montreal Space Symposium, the National Science Policy Conference, the AIAC Canadian Aerospace Summit, and the Canadian Space Summit.

In the coming weeks, the Board will also meet with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. This meeting will provide an opportunity for the Board members to update the Minister on our continued engagement with the space sector in Canada and abroad, and provide feedback on what we heard. This meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss how best the Space Advisory Board can continue to advise the Minister and inform the government’s work as it develops a long term vision for Canada’s space program.

Finally, we will remain engaged with the public on Canada’s future in space through our participation in the above mentioned events and welcome input through contact with members of the Board at these events or e-mail to ic.sab-cce.ic@canada.ca. Please note that the Space Advisory Board website URL has changed, here is the updated link: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/082.nsf/eng/h_03983.html

Best regards,
Lucy Stojak, Chair
Space Advisory Board

MDA

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactice Inc. Boucher has 18 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 25 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.