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Applying space technologies for human benefit; the Canadian experience and global trends

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1 Author(s)
Mamen, R. ; Canadian Space Agency, Ottawa, Ont., Canada

In the era since Canada followed the Soviet Union and the United States into space, space technology has evolved enormously. No longer the exclusive purview of fully developed countries, space is being harnessed for the benefit of humanity by even small countries and individual establishments. The exploitation of space applications is limited only by the imagination and resolve of the interested parties. Canada's initiation into space took the form of Alouette 1, launched in 1962 to learn more about the physics of electromagnetic phenomena interfering with its radio communications with its northern areas. International collaboration has played an important role and continues to be emphasized as its exploitation of space progressed from science and communications to remote sensing to space robotics. Even today, Canada has declined to develop an independent launch capability, preferring to collaborate with the nations endowed with such a capability. Recent developments in Canada have seen collaboration extend inward, with federal/provincial and private/public sector cooperation on selected space missions. Such collaboration has proven very beneficial to Canada and is recommended globally. Canadian harnessing of space technology began in the domain of communications, moving from R&D into phenomena affecting communications to the world's first domestic geostationary satellite communications system. Today, Canadians have access to not only our own domestic comsats but also international service providers which include Canadian elements. Canadian involvement in space robotics received a big boost with the contribution of the CANADARM to NASA for use on their space shuttles. It grew further with the CANADARM-2 for the International Space Station (ISS), a sophisticated robot which is still evolving, the third main element not yet launched. This arm is available for use by the international partners on the ISS, a major international scientific collaboration.

Published in:

Recent Advances in Space Technologies, 2003. RAST '03. International Conference on. Proceedings of

Date of Conference:

20-22 Nov. 2003