Monday, May 25, 2015

Getting out the Space Vote For a Fall Election

          By Chuck Black

MP Aspin on May 22nd. Photo c/o
It's scheduled for October 8th - 10th, just days before the expected Canadian general election on October 19th, and will occur in the Nipissing-Timiskaming riding of conservative MP Jay Aspin, who is not only the chair of the parliamentary space caucus but also the vice-chair of the parliamentary aerospace caucus.

Aspin even announced the event.

North Bay, Ontario will mark World Space Week, a fall event which normally focuses more on the scientific and educational benefits surrounding space exploration, by hosting a local three-day event aimed at helping to promote the city's recent efforts to attract aviation, aerospace and space industries.

As outlined in the May 22nd North Bay Nugget story, "City to mark World Space Week," the event will include, "an industry day featuring presentations, keynote speakers, business-to-business sessions and tours for aerospace and space-related companies. There will also be an education day aimed at promoting space and aerospace themes to local students through static displays, hands-on experiments and activities such as sun-gazing and geocaching."

According to the article, retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is also expected to attend. 

Then astronaut Chris Hadfield attempting a look of political caginess in 2006. Photo c/o CBC.

We want this to be an event that the whole community will embrace,” said Canadore College President George Burton, who is co-chairing the event with Mayor Al McDonald. “It's going to be lots of fun and educational.”

As outlined in the June 30th, 2014 post, "Canadore College Testing New European Space Plane Design," the college entered into a partnership with European based Swiss Space Systems (S3) to test the SOAR suborbital space plane at Jack Garland Airport in North Bay in 2014.

It's expected that the North Bay event will want to encourage other space and aerospace companies to consider North Bay and Canadore College as a base for low cost, future research and development programs. According to Mayor McDonald, his city is “open for business.

Other World Space Week partners, at least according to the organization's website, include:
  • Astronomers Without Borders, an organization which "brings the world together to share our passion of astronomy and the wonders of the Universe."
  • The Space Generation Advisory Council, which focuses on the "international, national and local level to link together university students and young professionals to think creatively about international space policy issues and inject the new generation point of view into international space policy creation.
  • Yuri's Night, an annual world space party which celebrates the first orbital flight of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961.
There is, of course, no doubt that MP Aspin is also hoping that this event takes off. As outlined in the November 30th, 2014 post, "Ambitious MP Announces Canadian "Space Caucus" Focused on the Economics and Business of Space," the busy politician, still officially a "back-bencher" in the current Stephen Harper government, almost certainly hopes to win re-election by more than the eighteen vote margin he enjoyed in the 2011 election.

Here's wishing him luck with that...

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