Astronomy group joins call for Canada to stay in space


October 30, 2018 – Article originally published on Coast Reporter

Sunshine Coast Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) is joining concerned Canadians from industry, academia and the space enthusiast community to ask the government to secure Canada’s place in space by putting forward a funded space strategy.

Charles Ennis, 2nd vice president of the RASC, will be talking about the issue Nov. 9 in Sechelt.

In a release previewing Ennis’ talk, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC said the campaign was initiated by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada and MDA, Canada’s largest space company, and is now backed by more than 40 companies, associations and academic organizations from Canada’s space sector.

They are supporting the movement in different ways, including funding, government relations, communications, public relations, social media, speaking engagements, public events and advertising.

The coalition warns that because of years of inaction by previous governments, if Canada does not take action soon, the country will be letting go of its position as a leader in satellite communications, Earth observation, space robotics, space science, optics and sensors and a 60-year legacy in space as the third country in space and the first to have a satellite telecommunications system,

The group said that legacy includes the “vibrant and innovative space sector with its important economic and scientific contributions and employment for some of our brightest young engineers, scientists and mathematicians; the Canadarm program; and the exciting opportunities of the new space economy.”

It notes that the global space market is worth over US$380 billion and analysts forecast it will grow to be a multitrillion-dollar market in coming decades.

“When it comes to space, governments have to lead, because if we let go of our space sector, it won’t be coming back,” the release said. “It’s time for bold vision and wise choices… We need a funded long-term Canadian Space Strategy to guide our way forward, and we need it now, because decisions need to be made.”

The group said the most pressing of those immediate decisions will be whether to participate in the Lunar Gateway Mission.

The event takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt.

Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted at the door.

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Help support the #DontLetGoCanada coalition by sending an email to your MP and signing the e-petition.