The Canadian Space Agency is the national space agency of Canada, established in 1990 by the Canadian Space Agency Act. The agency reports to the federal Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development.
The current president is Sylvain Laporte, who took the position March 9, 2015. The CSA's headquarters are located at the John H. Chapman Space Centre in Longueuil, Quebec. The agency also has offices in Ottawa, Ontario, at the David Florida Laboratory, and small liaison offices in Houston; Washington, D.C.; and Paris.
Founded: 1 March 1989
Annual Budget: 33.2 crores CAD (2018–2019)
Number of employees: 670
Minister Responsible: Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development
Agency Executives: Sylvain Laporte, President; Sarah Gallagher, Science Advisor
The origins of the Canadian upper atmosphere and space program can be traced back to the end of the Second World War Between 1945 and 1960, Canada undertook a number of small launcher and satellite projects under the aegis of defence research, including the development of the Black Brant rocket as well as series of advanced studies examining both orbital rendezvous and re-entry.
In 1957, scientists and engineers at the Canadian Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment (DRTE) under the leadership of John H. Chapman embarked on a project initially known simply as S-27 or the Topside Sounder Project. This work would soon lead to the development of Canada's first satellite known as Alouette 1.
With the launch of Alouette 1 in September 1962, Canada became the third country to put an artificial satellite into space.
At the time, Canada only possessed upper atmospheric launch capabilities (sounding rockets), therefore, Alouette 1 was sent aloft by the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California.
The technical excellence of the satellite, which lasted for ten years instead of the expected one, prompted the further study of the ionosphere with the joint Canadian-designed, U.S.-launched ISIS satellite program.
This undertaking was designated an International Milestone of Electrical Engineering by IEEE in 1993. The launch of Anik A-1 in 1972 made Canada the first country in the world to establish its own domestic geostationary communication satellite network.
These and other space-related activities in the 1980s compelled the Canadian government to promulgate the Canadian Space Agency Act, which established the Canadian Space Agency. The Act received royal assent on May 10, 1990, and came into force on December 14, 1990.
The mandate of the Canadian Space Agency is to promote the peaceful use and development of space, to advance the knowledge of space through science and to ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians. The Canadian Space Agency's mission statement says that the agency is committed to leading the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.
In 1999 the CSA was moved from project-based to "A-base" funding and given a fixed annual budget of $300 million. The actual budget varies from year to year due to additional earmarks and special projects. In 2009, Dr. Nicole Buckley was appointed Chief Scientist of Life Science.
- 1989 – May 4, 1992—Larkin Kerwin
- May 4, 1992 – July 15, 1994—Roland Doré
- November 21, 1994 – 2001—William MacDonald Evans
- November 22, 2001 – November 28, 2005—Marc Garneau
- April 12, 2007 – December 31, 2007—Larry J. Boisvert
- January 1, 2008 - September 2, 2008—Guy Bujold
- September 2, 2008 – February 1, 2013—Steven MacLean
- February 2, 2013 – August 5, 2013—Gilles Leclerc (interim)
- August 6, 2013 – November 3, 2014—Walter Natynczyk
- November 3, 2014 - March 9, 2015—Luc Brûlé, Interim since March 9, 2015—Sylvain Laporte
List of Canadian Astronauts:
|Marc Garneau||October 5, 1984||First Canadian in space|
|Roberta Bondar||January 22, 1992||First Canadian woman in space|
|Steven MacLean||October 22, 1992|
|Chris Hadfield||November 12, 1995||Only Canadian to visit Mir|
|Marc Garneau||May 19, 1996||First Canadian to return to space|
|Robert Thirsk||June 20, 1996|
|Bjarni Tryggvason||August 7, 1997|
|Dafydd Williams||April 17, 1998|
|Julie Payette||May 27, 1999||First Canadian to visit the International Space Station|
|Marc Garneau||November 30, 2000||ISS mission. Return to space (third visit)|
|Chris Hadfield||April 19, 2001||ISS mission. Return to space (second visit). First spacewalk by a Canadian|
|Steven MacLean||September 9, 2006||ISS mission. Return to space (second visit); spacewalk|
|Dafydd Williams||August 27, 2007||ISS mission. Return to space (second visit); spacewalk|
|Robert Thirsk||May 27, 2009||ISS Expedition 20 and Expedition 21. Return to space (second visit). First flight on a Russian launch vehicle by a Canadian. First Canadian on a permanent ISS crew. First time two Canadians were in space simultaneously (with Payette)|
|Julie Payette||July 15, 2009||ISS mission. First Canadian woman to return to space. First time two Canadians were in space simultaneously (with Thirsk). Largest gathering of humans in space, as seven STS-127 arrivals join 6 already on ISS. Largest gathering of nationalities in space, as USA, Russia, Japan, Canada, and Belgium have astronauts together on ISS. Last Canadian to fly on a US Space Shuttle.|
|Guy Laliberté||September 30, 2009||First Canadian space tourist, visited ISS and returned aboard TMA-14.|
|Chris Hadfield||December 19, 2012||ISS Expedition 34 and Expedition 35. Return to space (third visit). First Canadian commander of a spacecraft, first Canadian Commander of a permanent ISS crew.|
|David Saint-Jacques||December 20, 2018||ISS Expedition 58 and Expedition 59.|
List of Canadian Satellites:
|Alouette 1||September 29, 1962||1972||Ionosphere research|
|Alouette 2||November 29, 1965||August 1, 1975||Ionosphere research|
|ISIS 1||January 30, 1969||1990||Ionosphere research|
|ISIS 2||April 1, 1971||1990||Ionosphere research|
|Hermes||January 17, 1976||November, 1979||Experimental communications satellite|
|RADARSAT-1||November 4, 1995||March 29, 2013||Commercial Earth observation satellite|
|MOST||June 30, 2003||March, 2019||Space telescope|
|SCISAT-1||August 12, 2003||In service||Earth observation satellite (atmosphere)|
|RADARSAT-2||December 14, 2007||In service||Commercial Earth observation satellite|
|NEOSSat||February 25, 2013||In service||Monitoring of near-Earth objects|
|Sapphire||February 25, 2013||In service||Military space surveillance|
|BRITE||February 25, 2013||In service||Space telescope|
|CASSIOPE||September 29, 2013||In service||Ionosphere research, experimental telecommunications|
|M3MSat||June 22, 2016||In service||Communications satellite|
|RADARSAT Constellation||June 12, 2019||In service||Commercial Earth observation satellite|
Canadian Space Program:
The Mobile Base System just before Canadarm2 installed it on the Mobile Transporter during STS-111
The Canadian space program is administered by the Canadian Space Agency.
In addition to its astronauts and satellites, some of the most notable Canadian technological contributions to space exploration include the Canadarm on the Space Shuttle and Canadarm2 on the International Space Station.
Canada's contribution to the International Space Station is the $1.3 billion Mobile Servicing System. This consists of Canadarm2 (SSRMS), Dextre (SPDM), mobile base system (MBS) and multiple robotics workstations that together make up the Mobile Servicing System on the ISS.
The Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre all employ the Advanced Space Vision System, which allows more efficient use of the robotic arms.
Another Canadian technology of note is the Orbiter Boom Sensor System, which was an extension for the original Canadarm used to inspect the Space Shuttle's thermal protection system for damage while in orbit.
Before the Space Shuttle's retirement, the boom was modified for use with Canadarm2; STS-134 (the Space Shuttle program's penultimate mission) left it for use on the ISS.
Cooperation with the European Space Agency
The CSA has been a cooperating state of the European Space Agency (ESA) since the 1970s and has several formal and informal partnerships and collaborative programs with space agencies in other countries, such as NASA, ISRO, JAXA, and SNSA.
Canada's collaboration with Europe in space activities predated both the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
From 1968, Canada held observer status in the European Space Conference (ESC), a ministerial-level organization set up to determine future European space activities, and it continued in this limited role after ESA was created in 1975.
Since January 1, 1979, Canada has had the special status of a "Cooperating State" with the ESA, paying for the privilege and also investing in working time and providing scientific instruments that are placed on ESA probes. Canada is allowed to participate in optional programs; it also has to contribute to the General Budget but not as much as associate membership entail. This status was unique at the time and remains so today.