Sunday, June 07, 2015

M3MSat Now Scheduled for Launch in 2016

          By Henry Stewart

An ambitious name for a simple listing of upcoming CSA projects. Graphic c/o IC.
Hidden in plain sight within the two Industry Canada (IC) announcements about the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), on Friday, May 29th by Gary Goodyear, the Federal minister of state responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and on Monday, June 2nd, from Industry Minister James Moore, are two terribly obvious points.

The first is that at least one CSA space project has been pushed out, again. The second, perhaps more important item, is that new CSA president Sylvain Laporte wasn't listed as being involved in either announcement.

As outlined in the June 2nd, 2015 IC document "Canada's Future in Space," at least one CSA project, the Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro-Satellite (M3MSat) has been rescheduled, from 2014 to 2016.

As outlined in the April 28th, 2014 post, "M3MSat and the Politics of Dancing in the Crimea," the Federal government "decided not to proceed" with the planned June 2014 launch of the M3MSat technology from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in order to protest Russian activities in the Ukraine. 

As outlined in the June 23rd, 2014 post, "COM DEV Wants Compensation after Sanctions Ground M3MSat," the delay was initially the object of a lawsuit, but things seem to have eventually settled down.

The satellite was then scheduled for a 2015 launch aboard an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) belonging to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) on the south-east coast of India, but it looks the the current CSA expectation is that it won't launch before 2016.

But at least there is a time frame for the launch of M3MSat. There is certainly no indication of when, or even if, CSA president Laporte will ever come out to show his face and answer public questions regarding CSA activities.

Perhaps that's the biggest take-away from last weekends CSA announcements. Maybe the CSA, after the Emerson Aerospace review, is mostly irrelevant, especially after the Emerson recommendations as outlined in the December 12, 2012 post, "What the Space Volume of the Aerospace Review Actually Says."

Welcome to the future. Kate, at IC wants to help you organize, grow and compete, even if you're in the space  industry. Screen shot c/o IC.

Once, as outlined in the February 15th, 2010 post, "Ottawa Citizen: Where did that Long Term Space Plan Go?" it was suggested that the CSA risked becoming "irrelevant to the debate" on future space activities.

Evidently, that premonition has come to pass. Perhaps Industry Canada, which seems so keen on taking the lead now, will do a better job.

Here's hoping...

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