This Week in Space for Canada

This week in space for Canada is all about getting re-acquainted with old friends both in-person at the Canadian Astronautics and Space Institute (CASI) 15th Annual Astro 2010 conference held in Toronto from May 4th – 6th and on the written page via the relaunch of an old friend, The Canadian Space Gazette.

The Space Gazette holds a special place in my heart because back in 2009, it published the first ever space focused article I ever wrote. Called What’s Next in Space for Canada, it was also reprinted in FrontLine Defense magazine and became the core of the both the Commercial Space Blog and my posts for “This Week in Space for Canada.”
So now we all know who to blame for my writing.
Although not officially categorized as a relaunch (the lead editorial calls it a “shift”), co-editors Justin Trottier and Wilfred So have managed to put together a series of interesting articles on our growing Canadian commercial space sector, the reorganization going on in the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Canadian classroom space focused science programs, the science of deciphering light storms and even something on “Sports in Space” that doesn’t simply sound silly and is actually an interesting read.
The revamped Gazette is well worth checking out and is part of a recent but growing body of useful online and print works chronicling our Canadian achievements in space. These include popular works on the Avro Aero, the building of our Canadian northern communications network, Canadian contributions to the American space program and our more recent successful micro-satellite, Earth imaging and automation activities. Online sites include the Friends of the CRC website and Canadian Space Flight History, a site compiled by Chris Gainor who also wrote Arrows to the Moon and Canada in Space: The People & Stories Behind Canada’s Role in the Exploration of Space.
Even the Ottawa based Canadian Aviation Museum is getting into the act, according to this May 6th Montreal Gazette article titled “Aviation museum expanding reach into space” with plans to change it’s name to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, broaden its mandate to include more exhibits and information on manned space flights and the announced intention of building a partnership with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
Of course, for those interested in more recent Canadian space focused activities, it’s worthwhile to check out the 15th Annual CASI Astro 2010 conference which was held in Toronto last week. The 2010 conference agenda focused on Canada’s Future in Space and guests included Canadian astronaut Dr. Bjarni Tryggvason (who acted as chair); CSA Director General of Space Exploration Gilles Leclerc; Department of National Defense (DND) Director General of Integrated Force Development Brigadier General Perry Matte; the Chairman of the board of Optech Inc., Dr. Allan Carswell and quite a few others in government, academia, the military and the private sector focused on space activities in support of “a safer world, a healthier planet and a stronger economy.”
It’s especially interesting to note the highlight presentation on Wednesday night, May 5th with Graham Gibbs, the Counselor for Space Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC who talked about our traditional Canadian relationship with the United States, how that relationship has focused and defined our Canadian space program and how the relationship likely will not change in the foreseeable future.
Of course, he gave this speech in a room containing representative from Paris based Euroconsult, Argentinian based Comisin Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, European based EADS Astrium and Infoterra GmbH. Even the Chinese and Taiwanese were in attendance and represented by the University of Science and Technology and the National Space Organization, Taiwan.
Now I’m sure there were also a few Americans in the audience listening to the highlight presentation on Wednesday night but there couldn’t have been many and I didn’t see them. While perception might not be everything, it certainly has it’s place and does count at least a little in the greater scheme of things.
That’s all for this week in space for Canada.

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