Sunday, February 21, 2010

Developing Partnerships for the Next Great Space Race

According to this February 16th press release titled "exactEarth Sells Satellite-Based AIS Data To Canadian Government" from the CNW Group news wire service:
exactEarth Ltd., the data services subsidiary of COM DEV International Ltd. (TSX: CDV), today announced that it has signed a $1.4 million contract with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to provide space-based Automatic Identification System (S-AIS) data. exactEarth will supply the CSA with both historical data collected previously by its AIS nanosatellite (NTS) as well as with datasets to be captured at times and locations specified by the CSA through March 31, 2010.
According to the exactEarth partner page, the team responsible also includes the University of Toronto Institute of Aerospace Studies Space Flight Lab, the Department of National Defence (DND), Denmark based Gatehouse A/S and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Evidently, shy and polite Canadians are quite capable of putting together internationally capable partnerships between universities, the military, private business (both small start-ups and larger firms) and multiple space agencies which essentially mirrors relationships being developed in the United States as a result of the Obama administrations recent NASA announcements as outlined in my February 2, 2010 edition of "This Week in Space for Canada."

For example, according to the February 18th, 2010 article "Commercial Spaceflight Federation Announces New Research and Education Affiliates Program, Initial Participating Universities" as published on the NASA Watch Commercial Space News Website:
At the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference today, Commercial Spaceflight Federation chairman Mark Sirangelo announced the creation of a new affiliates program for universities and other research and educational institutions.
"Researchers, engineers, and educators will be among the primary beneficiaries of the new generation of low-cost commercial spacecraft, as payload opportunities to space start to grow," said Sirangelo. "We're excited to create a new category of affiliate membership to strengthen the ties between the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the research and education community."
It looks like "good old" Canadian ingenuity is poised and prepared to take advantage of this new playing field requiring collaboration and partnerships. Perhaps Americans could learn a few lessons from their northern neighbors.

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