While the US Congress debates how much NASA should get in the proposed stimulus package, and for what programs, the Canadian government is proposing a budget increase for its own space agency. The Budget 2009 Plan, released Tuesday, proposes to add C$110 million (US$90 million) to the Canadian Space Agency’s budget over the next three years, specifically for space robotics. From the section of the budget plan associated with supporting businesses and communities:
Canada is a leader in the design and construction of robotics for the space industry, and is well known for the Canadarm. The Canadian Space Agency plays an important role by working with the private sector to support advanced research, development and prototyping for new space-based technologies. Budget 2009 provides the Canadian Space Agency with $110 million over three years so that it can contribute to the development of terrestrial prototypes for space robotic vehicles, such as the Mars Lander and Lunar Rover, and for the further development of other technologies and space robotics.
According to that document, CSA would get the first $20 million in the 2009-10 budget year and $60 million in 2010-11, with the remaining $30 million coming in 2011-12. CSA’s current budget is about C$350 million (US$285 million).
The proposed spending increase was endorsed by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, which said it was “pleased” with the funding.