The Canadian Space Agency (CSA or, in French, l'Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC) is the Canadian government space agency responsible for Canada's space program. 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.
The 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 Houston, Texas.
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 Chapman Centre.
In December 2007 Minister Jim Prentice appointed Guy Bujold as the president of the Canadian Space Agency.
The legislated mandate of the CSA is:
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.
To achieve this, the CSA attempts to promote an environment where all levels of the organization:
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 CSA visited the China National Space Administration in October 2005 and planned to reach a deal soon to put Canadian scientific instruments in two Chinese satellites. There was also speculation about China in the future perhaps wanting the Canadarm2 technology for its planned space station, but as of 22 October 2005, the CNSA has not raised the possibility.
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.
Astronaut Steven MacLean is Chief Astronaut of CSA.
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.
With the successful launching of Radarsat 2 in December 2007 and near completion of Canada's C$1.4 billion contribution to the ISS the agency in early 2008 finds itself with no major follow on projects. This fact has been highlighted by Marc Garneau, Canada's first astronaut and former head of the CSA who in the fall of 2007 called upon the Canadian government to develop and institute a space policy for Canada.
|Marc Garneau||Challenger||STS-41-G||October 5, 1984||First Canadian in space|
|Roberta Bondar||Discovery||STS-42||January 22, 1992||First Canadian woman in space|
|Steven MacLean||Columbia||STS-52||October 22, 1992|
|Chris Hadfield||Atlantis||STS-74||November 12, 1995||Only Canadian to visit Mir|
|Marc Garneau||Endeavour||STS-77||May 19, 1996|
|Robert Thirsk||Columbia||STS-78||June 20, 1996|
|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|
|Marc Garneau||Endeavour||STS-97||November 30, 2000||ISS mission|
|Chris Hadfield||Endeavour||STS-100||April 19, 2001||First spacewalk by a Canadian|
|Steven MacLean||Atlantis||STS-115||September 9, 2006||Second spacewalk by a Canadian|
|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 ionosphere|
|ISIS-I||January 30, 1969||1990||Explore the ionosphere|
|ISIS-II||April 1, 1971||1990||Explore the ionosphere|
|Hermes||January 17, 1976||November, 1979||Experimental communications satellite|
|RADARSAT-1||November 4, 1995||Still in use||Commercial Earth observation satellite|
|MOST||June 30, 2003||Still in use||Space telescope|
|SCISAT-1||August 12, 2003||Still in use||Observe the Earth's atmosphere|
|RADARSAT-2||December 14, 2007||Still in use||Commercial Earth observation satellite|
|CASSIOPE||Scheduled for 2009||CAScade, Smallsat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer|
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 TV), and a satellite called M-Sat 1 launched April 20, 1996, at 22h36 UTC.
Further, technology/research satellites have been launched by the University of Toronto, including the CanX series.