Monday, March 11, 2013

A Quick Overview of CSCA 2013 Media Coverage

Public feedback from the 6th national conference organized by the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA 2013), which was held on Thursday March 7th in Toronto, ON and focused on commercial space resource utilization, has been generally positive, at least if you concentrate on the mass media articles and stories covering the event.

Listed below are a few of the more noteworthy examples:
    Dale Boucher.
  • According to the March 7th, 2013 Toronto Star article “Mining for gold in deep space,” the topic "sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but in fact, it’s already here says a growing list of mining and aerospace companies." The article went on to quote Dale Boucher, the director of product design, prototyping and testing at the Northern Centre of Advanced Technologies (NORCAT), a Sudbury-based training and technology development centre for the mining industry, as stating that, "Canada can take a leaders’ role (in this new area) by adapting existing mining legislation to include places like asteroids and the moon. That would require international agreements, but Canada can certainly take a leading role."
Bob Richards.
  • The March 7th, 2013 Globe and Mail article “Tech titans crucial to the next wave of space exploration" traced the genesis of the asteroid mining concept back to the 1970's and Gerald K. O'Neil, who argued that private enterprise was the key "to extending humanity's presence beyond Earth." The article also quoted Silicon Valley entrepreneur Bob Richards, who left Canada in 2009 because of the then common perception that the Canadian space industry focused primarily on procuring government contracts. According to Richards, the present interest in asteroid mining is simply "the expansion of the economic sphere outward to where the resources are."
Arny Sokoloff.
  • The March 8th, 2013 Canadian Press article “Space: the final frontier for extra-terrestrial miners,” focused on how space mining could "become the dominant industry in the future." The article quoted CSCA President Arny Sokoloff, who noted that extra-terrestrial mining was mentioned in the recent Federal government Aerospace Review. According to Sokoloff, the government should encourage the industry, “in the very least,” by giving space companies some of the same tax benefits that Canadian mining companies currently receive. The article also quoted Gordon Osinski, the NSERC/MDA/CSA industrial research chair in planetary geology at the University of Western Ontario who said that “if those in government are watching things around the world and paying attention, this really is a potential niche area for Canada (to) take the lead."
For those who'd like to learn more, the March 11th, 2013 article “Prospecting the Solar System” included complete videos from many of the presentations and more are available on the SpaceRef Commercial Space Resource Utilization channel on YouTube.

In the interests of full disclosure, it's also worth noting that both SpaceRef and the Commercial Space blog acted as media sponsors for the event.

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