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by Staff Writers
Bethesda MD (SPX) Feb 12, 2014
This past Friday, the Canadian government announced a new approach to the country's space policy in an effort to reverse the negative trend caused by recent national budget cuts.
The fact is simply that Canada has played a critical part in advancing space technology and exploration, and is very interested in continuing to have space be an integral part of everyday life and national prestige.
Space activities will only grow as the importance of space commerce continues to grow. This announcement serves to reinforce what many have known for years, that space is here to stay and Canada will continue to contribute to the international community. The government has now confirmed this and stated that future budgets will reflect this new attitude.
Over the last two years, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has suffered significant budget cuts. However, the latest budget estimates indicate that CSA spending will increase in the 2013-14 budget year.
Former Canadian astronaut and current Member of Parliament Marc Garneau said he is optimistic but will reserve his enthusiasm until he sees if this new approach actually turns into something positive for Canada's space program.
Since Canada has been prominent in many international partnerships, several other countries have been looking for reaffirmation of commitment to those partnerships.
Those foreign partners are now hoping this new interest will translate into a long-term space plan and continued increasing support for CSA. The new policy framework is built on five principles: national sovereignty, security and prosperity; positioning the private sector at the forefront of space activities; progress through partnerships; excellence in key capabilities; and inspiring Canadians.
To realize these principles four areas of strategic action have been identified: commercialization; research and development; exploration of space; and stewardship, management and accountability.
Canada is particularly well-known for its advances in space technology, satellite engineering and Canadarms, the robot arms attached to the International Space Station.
In addition, there are a number of famous astronauts including the first ever Canadian commander of the station, Chris Hadfield. Let's hope Canada will continue to strongly support the space community.
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