Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Canada's space program, 'far to fly'

Honorary LP and CEO of Odyssey Moon Limited, Bob Richards reports he was glad Ottawa Business Journal made mention of the possibilities presented by the growing Commercial Space industry.

Elizabeth Howell, Ottawa Business Journal Staff

Years of non-direction from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) caused by underfunding are putting the space industry at risk of stagnation in Canada, points out a report issued Wednesday by the Rideau Institute and the Secure World Foundation.

Although Rideau Institute president Steve Staples notes the appointment of former astronaut Steve MacLean to head the CSA has brought new blood into an agency plagued by short-term presidents, he fears the economic crisis may push MacLean's long-awaited Long Term Space Plan into the background.

As a solution, Mr. Staples and the institute propose moving from a space plan into a more wide-ranging space policy that could be adopted by other government departments with a strategic interest in space exploration, such as defence.

"A whole government approach towards space, I think, would be welcomed by many," Mr. Staples says.

"But in the meantime, the (space) sector is looking for direction from the government to guide CSA into the future, and then that needs to be followed up by some (financial) resources into the CSA."

The report, called "Looking Up: A Report on the State of Canada's Space Sector,"(Adobe pdf file) tracks the progress of the Canadian space industry.

Follow the rest of the article HERE.

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