Monday, November 08, 2010

Updates from the International Space Frontier

For those of us who aren't following international stories and how (or if) they relate to Canadian space focused industry, here are a couple of interesting updates on what others are doing:
Antonio Tajani
  • The European  Space Agency (ESA) is focused on 'a new space policy for Europe' at the European Parliament according to the October 29th, 2010 article of the same name posted on the ESA Portal site which focuses on the recent series of discussions on the Lisbon Treaty, and how the treaty affects Europe's "exploitation and exploration of space." The article quotes Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission as stating “we must reinforce investments in space.” According to Tajani “space policy is not only about satellites and launchers, but is also about providing concrete answers to the needs of European citizens." Canada is an associate member of the ESA.
The US president
The ex-Indian President
  • Speaking of India and the US, the November 8th, 2010 Times of India article "India, America join hands to harness solar power" states that "India and (the) USA (have) teamed up on a space-based energy initiative aimed at turning both countries into net energy exporters, 48 hours before US President Barack Obama landed in India." The project will be led by Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, the former president of India and a respected scientist in his own right. Dr. Kalam once worked at ISRO, where he was known as the "missile man of India" for his work developing ballistic missile and space rocket technology.
  • Speaking of just the US, according to the November 8th, 2010 post on the Network World Blog Layer 8 titled "NASA picks 13 companies to help build it's next big space rocket" the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) will spend $7.5 billion across thirteen companies to research heavy lift concepts and new technologies to send the next generation of Americans to the asteroids, the Lagrange points, the Moon and Mars.This program is part of the Obama administrations ongoing focus on new "breakthrough" technologies that the CSA is going to need to address if it wants to participate in future US space focused activities.
John Mankins
George Whitesides
Space Ship 2
  • In other UK space news, according to the November 8th, 2010 SiloBreaker article "UK space companies have defied the recession, growing by an average of 10% a year from 2007," UK based, space companies have essentially defied the recession and are growing by an average of 10% a year from 2007. This makes them typical of space focused companies in pretty much any jurisdiction and there are even specific areas of comparison with Canada, given that both economies until recently been mostly small niche providers with one or two large telecoms that distort the market.
The Commercial Crew Initiative
As you can likely tell, some of these stories have a Canadian component and some don't. Of course, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't stick our little back bacon smelling noses into more projects and places outside of our traditional comfort zones.

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