Friday, September 28, 2018

Thales Joins the Maxar/MDA "DontLetGoCanada" Coalition

          By Henry Stewart

The Toronto ON based regional office of Paris France based Thales Group, one of Canada's larger and more noteworthy aerospace subcontractors, has joined the MAXAR/MDA dominated "Don't Let Go Canada" coalition, according to the coalition website.

As outlined most recently in the August 2nd, 2018 post, "Airbus Competing Against Thales/ Maxar to Design and Build the 117 Satellite Telesat Constellation," both Maxar and Thales are already working together to access subcontract work from Ottawa ON based Telesat for its proposed low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation.

They're competing against Fort Erie ON based Airbus Canada for the final contract and Telesat's decision is expected over the next few months. Neither Telesat nor Airbus has so far joined the Maxar/MDA coalition.

By signing up, Thales joins Mississauga ON based Honeywell Canada, Mississauga ON based Magellan Aerospace, Brampton ON based MDA (a subsidiary of Westminster CO based Maxar Technologies) and approximately twenty seven other organizations. 

Other new corporate members include Montreal PQ based Maya (a player in the growing "artificial intelligence" field), Lively ON based Mafic Studios (a 3D animation facility specializing in scientifically accurate images), Sherbrooke PQ based NGC Aerospace, stealth rocketry start-ups Reaction Dynamics and Space Horizon, Toronto ON based Skywatch and Kanata ON based Space Strategies Consulting Ltd. (SSCL).

The newly joined clubs and associations include the Toronto ON based Canadian Astronomical Society, the Montreal Student Space Associations, Montreal PQ based Space Concordia (a student society at Concordia University), the Canadian chapter of the International Space Generation Advisory Council (a US based but global non-profit (US 501(c)3) organisation which aims to represent university students and young space professionals), the Calgary AB based Student Organization for Aerospace Research (the University of Calgary’s "foremost student-run high altitude research club"), the Canadian chapter of the Plano TX based Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Rocket Club.

Airbus also has connections to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G). According to the September 20th, 2018 Airbus press release, "Forward to the Moon: Airbus wins ESA studies for future human base in lunar orbit," The European Space Agency (ESA) has "commissioned Airbus for two studies for possible European involvement in the future human base in lunar orbit." Graphic c/o NASA.

As outlined in the September 18th, 2018 post, "Colorado Based Maxar/MDA Asking for $1-2Bln to Build Another Canadarm for the US LOP-G," the coalition was created earlier this month to: 
  • Encourage the Federal government to develop a "long-term space strategy." 
  • Increase Federal spending for the domestic space industry.
  • Lobby the Federal government to provide up to $2Bln CDN to Maxar/MDA over a period of up to twenty years to fund a "third-generation Canadarm" for NASA's planned Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G).
The lobbying is being done to coincide with the Federal government's annual pre-budget consultation process. 

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer. 

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