From the robotic arms of the Shuttle era and the International Space Station to synthetic aperture radar programs and satellites studying critical elements of Earth’s changing climate to telecommunication needs in the northern parts of the country, Canada has been a mainstay of space exploration from the beginning.
While many champion the current “golden age” of commercialization of space, that very commercialization is what has always driven Canadian space goals: to boost scientists and universities and industry through government investment designed to put private entities in charge of space projects instead of government.
Now, those public-private partnerships will propel Canada to the Moon via Canadarm3 and the NASA-led Lunar Gateway initiative.
Last week, NASASpaceflight’s Nathan Barker and Chris Gebhardt spoke with Gilles Leclerc, Director General, Space Exploration at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), who has been an instrumental figure within the Canadian space program for decades and who has held various roles within CSA since its formal founding in 1990.
Prior to CSA, the Canadian space program operated under the National Research Council. After a number of efforts were made from the mid-1940s to study the upper atmosphere and space, Canadian space research moved toward the creation of suborbital rockets ...