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Will Canada join the next space station project?

Amit Chakma is the president and vice-chancellor of the University of the West

Members of the Canadian space community, including academic and business leaders, take part in an emergency dialogue highlighting how the window can close Canada's opportunity to play a leading role in the development of a global space economy , as well as the next steps in space exploration.

The incentive for this timely conversation is the Lunar portal, an NASA-co-ordinated international project that would empower human expansion across the solar system. In conjunction with public and private partners, Lunar Porth designs the design and construction of a small station that would be sent to an orbit around the moon over the next decade. From that fan, the astronaut would build and test systems to develop a lunch examination, host a lot of deep space experiments, improve satellite communication and future trips to remote destinations including Mars.

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Unlike the International Space Station that rotates the Earth just 400 kilometers away, Lunar Gate would fall to the moon more than 400,000 kilometers away. Such a sport will involve a host of many scientific and technological challenges, especially in terms of robotics and artificial intelligence – areas of proven strength of Canada.

It is not surprising that industry leaders and university researchers across a wide range of disciplines see an undertaking with the scale and complexity of Porth Lunar as a once-to-one opportunity to apply their expertise to an exciting collaborative project that has real world- wide that could be astronomical. economic benefits.

Canadians have many reasons to be enthusiastic about the Gateway project, starting with a stunning story in the 60-year-old space. We were not the third country to launch satellite to orbit (Alouette 1 in 1962); the first to operate satellite telecommunications satellite (Anik in 1972); and the first to use a direct broadcasting service to a home in 1982. The "Canadarm" used on Space Shuttle and International Space Station trips has become an icon of national pride and a world- renowned Canadian ingenuity. Only the US and Russia have sent more stones into a space than Canada.

Yet while space agencies from the US, Europe, Russia and Japan join a partner on the Lunar Gate, Canada's commitment to the international enterprise continues to be a question mark. Indeed, for recent years, the space of Canada in space has been falling. Although other vacancies have increased their investments in space as a percentage of GDP, Canada has slipped from the octave site in 1992 to 18th in 2016, and our investments have not been led by a long-term plan for decades .

However, hopeful signs that support Canada's more ambitious space strategy are growing, with some strong economic arguments. Recently, Morgan Stanley predicted that the revenue generated by the global space industry could increase to US $ 1.1 trillion by 2040, compared to the 2017 global space market estimated at US $ 380 billion. The predicted growth will be driven by rapid expansion of Earth observations and communication satellites over the next 20 years, serving an increasing number of applications that depend on satellite images, remote sensation and location data global to improve the quality of our life and safety.

Quotation also increases that more traditional industries, such as excavation, will soon bind their claims in space. Scientists in that same asteroid football theory include valued metals valued above $ 50 billion. NASA data extraction is about 18,000 asteroids orbit near Earth, that the total value of adjacent celestial minerals could be as high as $ 700 quintillion. Noting that this is not just a science fiction, Luxembourg set up a $ 225 million fund in 2016 to draw entrepreneurial space companies to set up a store in that country, where the aims to become a global leader in space mining and start prospecting asteroids by 2020.

At the same time, it is important to note that investments in space audit have significant positive effects for Canada's Canadian economy and well-being. When applying Canadarm's expertise in developing NeuroArm for brain surgery to use Mars designed for the mineral exploration of the mining industry, space exploitation triggers innovation and pushes technology development boundaries.

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Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, physics and astronomy of the Western University, Sarah Gallagher, said as the first Science Adviser for the Canadian Space Agency on September 12. In his new role, Professor Gallagher will help to promote space science and produce a space research direction in the future. A week later, Minister for Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan announced that the Natural Sciences and the Engineering Research Council were funding a public awareness campaign led by the West Planning and Investigation Science Center: "Space Matters," Aim to highlight the importance of Canada's space and how it touches almost every aspect of everyday life.

These are positive signs that the leaders of our government see Canada's potential in space. But we need to take a few heavy steps that are asking for major government investments. The games are too high and time is too short if we are serious about enabling the next generation of researchers and Canadian entrepreneurs to secure space in this country in the growing space economy. Canada can and should be an important player in the Gatear Gateway Project.

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