A Canadian space stimulus

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.

2 comments to A Canadian space stimulus

  • Doug Lassiter

    We and the Chinese will be duking it out in the lunar dust while the Canadians will be building the big things in space.

    It’s a real shame that Constellation basically sacrifices our leadership in constructing and servicing things in space. If we ever go to Mars, we’re going to need a vehicle that gets assembled in space, much like we’ve done with ISS. In the same way, we’ll need depots in space that can effectively support a cis-lunar enterprise. These depots will be developed piecewise.

    Their investment in space robotics is a smart move, and one that the US does not seem to be able to afford.

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