The Canadian Space
Agency (CSA) is
the Canadian government space agency responsible for Canada's
space program. In French it is called l'Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC. It was established in March 1989 by the Canadian
Space Agency Act and sanctioned in December 1990. The Chief
Executive Officer of the agency is the President who reports to
the Minister of Industry.
headquarters of the CSA is located at John H. Chapman Space
Centre in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. The agency also has offices in
Ottawa, Ontario at the David Florida Laboratory (which is mainly
an engineering installation) and small liaison offices in
Washington, D.C., Paris, France, Cape Canaveral, Florida, and
The agency is a relatively modest federal establishment, with
only 575 employees and a rotating student population of about
100 interns or summer workers. Most of the staff is at the
Canadians of Space:
Marc Garneau: First Canadian in Space.
Marc Garneau was the first Canadian in space. He
has taken part in three flights aboard NASA Space Shuttles:
(1). Challenger STS-41-G October 5, 1984 (2). Endeavour STS-77
May 19, 1996 (3). STS-97 November 30, 2000 ISS mission. He
was the president of the Canadian Space Agency until he
entered politics as the Liberal candidate in Vaudreuil-Soulanges
for the 2006 federal election. He was born born February 23,
- Roberta Bondar:
Woman in Space (Discovery STS-42 January 22, 1992)
Roberta Lynn Bondar, was Canada's first woman astronaut and the
world's first neurologist in space. She born December 4, 1945,
in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
- Steven MacLean:
Second Canadian to
Walk in Space
In 1985, Steve MacLean was designated to fly with a set of
Canadian experiments in space science, space technology and
life sciences called CANEX-2. The primary experiment was an
evaluation of the National Research Council's experimental
Space Vision System. CANEX-2 was scheduled for a mission in
1987 but was rescheduled following the Challenger tragedy.
Steve MacLean and the CANEX-2 payload flew October 22 -
November 1, 1992 during Mission STS-52, aboard Space Shuttle
MacLean served as a Mission Specialist on STS-115, which
launched on September 9, 2006 and returned on September 21,
2006. He became the first Canadian to operate the robotic arm
Canadarm2. On September 13, he performed his first spacewalk,
a 7 hour EVA to activate the solar panels on the P3/4 truss -
the second Canadian to do so, after Chris Hadfield.
First Canadian to Walk in Space and only Canadian to
Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian Mission Specialist and
the first and only Canadian to board the Russian Space Station
Mir during Mission STS-74, aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis,
November 12-20, 1995. Hadfield was also the first Canadian to
operate the Canadarm when he successfully manoeuvred the arm
to install docking modules.
In April 2001, aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, Chris
Hadfield made history by becoming the first Canadian astronaut
to walk in space during Mission STS-100, the ISS assembly
Flight 6A. The primary purpose of the flight was to deliver,
install and deploy the remote robotic arm, Canadarm2, as well
as, install and retrieve the Italian-made, Raffaello
Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, on the ISS. During the
11-day flight, Hadfield performed two spacewalks, which made
him the first Canadian to ever leave a spacecraft and float
freely in space. In total, Hadfield spent 14 hours, 54 minutes
outside, travelling 10 times around the world.
Other notable missions:
Robert Thirsk flew as a payload specialist aboard space
shuttle Columbia mission STS-78 June 20, 1996, the Life and
Microgravity Spacelab (LMS) mission.
Bjarni Tryggvason Discovery STS-85 August 7, 1997
Dafydd Williams Columbia STS-90 April 17, 1998
Julie Payette Discovery STS-96 May 27, 1999 First Canadian to
visit the ISS
Dafydd Williams Endeavour STS-118 August 27, 2007 Third
spacewalk by a Canadian
Alouette 1 September
29, 1962 1972 Explore the ionosphere
Alouette 2 November 29, 1965 August 1, 1975 Explore the
ISIS-I January 30, 1969 1990 Explore the ionosphere
ISIS-II April 1, 1971 Explore the ionosphere
Hermes January 17, 1976 November, 1979 Experimental
RADARSAT-1 November 4, 1995 Still in use Commercial Earth
MOST June 30, 2003 Still in use Space telescope
SCISAT-1 August 12, 2003 Still in use Observe the Earth's
RADARSAT-2 December 14, 2007 Still in use Commercial Earth
CASSIOPE Scheduled for 2007 CAScade, Smallsat and IOnospheric
Additionally, there are some commercial satellites launched by
the telecommunications company Telesat Canada. These are the 13
Anik satellites (3 of which are still in use), the 3 Nimiq
satellites (all currently used by Bell ExpressVu), and a
satellite called M-Sat 1 launched April 20, 1996, at 22h36 UTC
Canada became the third country to put a
man-made satellite into space with the launch of Alouette 1 in
1962 . The mission was a big success;
although it was only expected to last for one year, it lasted
for ten. This prompted further study of the ionosphere with the
international ISIS program, which in 1993 was designated an
International Milestone of Electrical Engineering by IEEE. It
should be noted, however, that Canada has never had any domestic
launch capabilities of its own. While Alouette 1 was entirely
built and funded by Canada, it was launched by the American
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from
Vandenberg AFB in California.
Another Canadian first was the launch of Anik A-1 in 1972,
making Canada the first country in the world to have its own
domestic geostationary communication satellite network.
The CSA has several
formal and informal partnerships and collaborative programs or
agreements with space agencies in other countries, such as NASA,
ESA and JAXA, and perhaps soon the CNSA.
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 which are placed on European probes. On June 21,
2000 the accord was renewed for a fourth period, this time for
10 years. By virtue of this accord Canada takes part in ESA
deliberative bodies and decision-making and in ESA's programmes
and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts
to work on programmes. The accord has a provision specifically
ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada.
The Canadian Space
Program is also administered by the Canadian Space Agency.
Canada has contributed technology, expertise and personnel to
the world space effort, especially in collaboration with NASA
and the ESA.
In addition to its astronauts, some of the most notable Canadian
technological contributions to space exploration are the
Canadarm on the Space Shuttle as well as the Canadarm2 and the
rest of the Mobile Servicing System on the International Space
Station. The Canadarm and Canadarm2 are assisted by the Advanced
Space Vision System which allows more efficient use of the
robotic arms. Another example is the Orbiter Boom Sensor System,
which is an extension of the Canadarm used to inspect the Space
Shuttle's thermal Protection System for damage while in orbit.
Did you know?
What is Canada and where is Canada?
Canada is a country
occupying most of northern North America, extending from the
Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and
northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second
largest country by total area and shares land borders with the
United States to the south and northwest.
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