Monday, August 06, 2018

In Space, You are the Master of Your Fate and the Captain of Your Soul

          By Chuck Black

The deadline to contribute position papers to the pre-budget consultations held annually by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) in advance of the expected release of the next Federal budget in March 2019, has passed.

But it's worth noting that there are many things we can still do to support the Canadian space industry. For example, we could kick in a few bucks for the University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT).

UTAT team members surround a model of their rocket. Graphic c/o UTAT.

As outlined in their GoFundMe webpage under the title "Defiance: Record-breaking rocket," as of August 6th, 2018 the team was approximately $2000 CDN short of the $8500 CDN needed in order to be able to fund and build a hybrid sounding rocket, called "Defiance." The rocket will be used in an attempt to break the current Canadian amateur rocketry altitude record.

As a side benefit, it will also help motivated and capable Canadian university students learn about building rockets...

According to the website:
Your contributions will help construct the state-of-the-art propulsion system to power Defiance. This includes manufacturing the oxidizer tank, combustion chamber, rocket fuel core, and validating crucial flight systems through low altitude tests. 
In June we plan on flying a demo vehicle to 5km altitude to verify avionics and recovery systems but your contributions will allow us to test the most important system of all: propulsion.
UTAT doesn't just build rockets. As outlined on their website, UTAT is an "interdisciplinary university design team that designs and builds rockets, satellites, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles."

They were last profiled in the April 3rd, 2017 post, "UofT Undergraduate Satellite Builders Raise Almost $500K to Build & Launch a Microsatellite in 2019."

Graphic c/o UTAT.

As outlined in the July 6th, 2018 post, "Time to Contribute to the Pre-Budget Consultations of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance," this blog has advocated contributing to the annual FINA budget consultation process in order to encourage the Federal government to assist the Canadian space industry, either through additional direct funding, improvements to the Federal procurement process or through tax breaks for space focused organizations.

But we could certainly be doing more.

And we should absolutely not be depending on any one single level of government or any specific political party to support Canadian efforts to contribute to our next great space age.

Waiting for someone else to take the ball and solve our problems is the surest route to failure. So lets take the future in our own hands and begin contributing directly to useful, space focused projects like UTAT.
Chuck Black.

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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