- The latest "mass media" editorial to come out in favor of the stalled Radarsat Constellation (RCM) program is the November 25th, 2012 Ottawa Citizen article "Canada needs new satellite eyes." Written by Liberal party senator Colin Kenny, the former chair of the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, the article focuses on the military ramifications and expected job losses should the program become permanently derailed. While some of the statistics used to bolster the overall arguments seem excessively inflated (such as the statement that "at stake in this venture are over 1000 jobs") it is certainly helpful to see a continued interest in this area from Federal politicians.
- Of course, RCM isn't the totality of the Federal government space program. Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Chris Hadfield is also waiting patiently for a ride aboard the upcoming Expedition 34/35 long duration mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The current schedule is for Hadfield to launch December 19th, 2012 from Kazakhstan to carry out scientific experiments, operate the Canadarm2, perform other robotics tasks as required and oversee operations as the first Canadian ISS commander beginning in March 2013.
- But some launch windows take longer than others. Four Canadian satellites (the Department of National Defence Surveillance of Space (Sapphire) satellite, the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) and the CanX-3a and CanX-3b micro-satellites), bundled together as secondary payloads with the joint Indo-French developed Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa (SARAL), are currently scheduled for launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre aboard an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on January 12th, 2013. As outlined in the September 16th, 2012 Commercial Space blog post "Sapphire, NEOSSat, CanX 3A & 3B Standing By... " the currently anticipated launch date is four full years behind schedule.
- Meanwhile, back in the private sector, there seems to be a great deal of money to be made in the space industry, especially if you're able to sell into the US. For example, according to the November 26th, 2012 4-Traders website article "COMDEV wins follow-on contract for U.S. Government Satellite Program," Cambridge based COMDEV International has been "has been awarded a follow-on contract to deliver active and passive microwave equipment in support of a major U.S. Government procurement" with a full contract value of up to $19M CDN.
- Richmond based MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) might also have received an early holiday gift. As outlined in the November 20th article "ABS Gets Loans to Build Three Sats: MDA, SpaceX, Boeing Set to Benefit," on the NewSpace Watch website, Asia Broadcast Satellite Ltd. has just received a $461M USD loan from the US Import/ Export Bank to build three communications satellites. One loan, for $171M USD's will cover the completion of the ABS-2 communications satellite, currently being built by SS/Loral, which was recently purchased by MDA.