Monday, September 26, 2011

Meanwhile, Back at the Canadian Space Agency...

It's easy to forget that space related activities sometimes do occur even at our government funded space agency, especially given the dearth of obvious updates on the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) website. 

With that in mind, here is the second in a casual listing of some of the events and activities our space agency is helping to make happen:
The John H. Chapman Space Centre.
CSA president Stave MacLean.
Herschel Space Observatory.
  • Given the above, it's worth noting that Canadian astronomers seem to be doing admirable work cataloging the heavens, even as the delays and cost overruns surrounding the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) seem to keep growing and growing (and try not to take too seriously the statement on the CSA JWST page, which reports the telescope as being "slated for launch in 2014." That just ain't gonna happen as reported in my July 12th, 2011 post "Tracking Costs for the James Webb Telescope"). Useful, ongoing CSA supported astronomy programs include the Herschel Space Observatory (a European Space Agency observatory launched in 2009 with Canadian contributions to the development of two of the three science instruments carried aboard) and the Planck Space Telescope (another ESA project, launched with the Herschell Space Observatory in 2009).
The very frugal Jaymie Matthews.
SMOS satellite.
  • Other useful CSA programs include the Project for On board Autonomy (PROBA-2) mission, the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite (both done in conjunction with the ESA) and the THEMIS program (in conjunction with the University of Calgary and NASA).
  • Of course, any listing of CSA supported satellites also needs to include the Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) mission scheduled to put two satellites in a highly elliptical orbit over the North Pole for 24/7 communication services and weather monitoring in 2016, plus the iconic RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2 and upcoming RADARSAT Constellation series of three satellites scheduled for launch in 2014/ 2015, the Canadian SCISAT-1 satellite and quite a few others. 

A full listing of existing and upcoming CSA satellites is on the CSA satellite page. It's so comprehensive, that there are even listings for commercial telecommunications satellites operated by Telesat and no longer operational CSA satellites.
      As mentioned once before, in my August 8th, 2011 post on the same topic, there are lots of other fun and fascinating things going on at our space agency and we should be encouraging the CSA to talk more about them.

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