A new Canadian space plan

While Americans have been fixated on political conventions the last two weeks, there have been some space policy developments in Canada. On Tuesday Industry Minister Jim Prentice named astronaut Steve MacLean as the new president of the Canadian Space Agency. And Prentice gave MacLean his marching orders in a speech announcing the appointment: develop a new long-term strategy for the space agency:

I have given Steve a mandate to make sweeping changes at the CSA. As we stand at this crossroads, he will revitalize the Agency. He will restore its ability to punch above its weight in an international quest. He will develop Canada’s capacity for a new era of prestige and achievement.

And to that end, as one of Steve MacLean’s first acts as new President, the CSA will begin consultations with stakeholders that will lead to a new Long-Term Space Plan. I expect this plan – the fourth in the series – to be as influential for our generation of exploration and development as any plan that Canada has produced for charting our future in space. That’s a tall order. I know that Steve is capable of bringing together the stakeholders. Time is of the essence, and I look forward to the plan in the coming months.

That plan is scheduled to be completed by November, but there is one complicating factor: a federal election expected to be called on Sunday that would take place on October 14. MacLean told reporters at his first press conference this week that he’s “politically aware” and ready to adjust if the ruling Conservative party loses power, although he said he’s not “a political person at all”.

1 comment to A new Canadian space plan

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>