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ARCHIVED - RPP 2007-2008
Canadian Space Agency

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Section 1: Overview

1.1 Minister's Message

Maxime Bernier, Ministre de l'Industrie

Canada's New Government is committed to fostering a strong, competitive economy that benefits Canada and all Canadians. To achieve this goal, I firmly believe that our government must create an environment that encourages and rewards people who work hard, that stimulates innovation, and that avoids unnecessary regulatory burden. By modernizing and improving Canada's marketplace frameworks, we will ensure stability and fairness while creating new opportunities and choices for businesses, consumers and all Canadians.

Over the past year, our government has taken significant steps to improve Canada's economy. Early in our mandate we presented Budget 2006, which contained measures aimed at improving our

quality of life by building a strong economy that is equipped to lead in the 21st century. These measures focused on making Canada's tax system more competitive internationally, and outlined our commitments to reduce paper burden on businesses and to continue to support science and technology in Canada.

Last fall, we presented a long-term economic plan in the Economic and Fiscal Update. Advantage Canada: Building a Strong Economy for Canadians focused on creating five Canadian advantages that will give incentives for people and businesses to excel and to make Canada a world leader.

One of these proposed advantages, called the "Tax Advantage," will create conditions more favourable to business in Canada by effectively establishing the lowest tax rate on new business investment in the G7. As well, the "Entrepreneurial Advantage" will ease the regulatory and paperwork burden imposed on business by ensuring that regulations meet their intended goals at the least possible cost.

Through Advantage Canada, our government committed to supporting science and technology in Canada, and underscored some of the elements of a science and technology strategy that will sustain research excellence in Canada and increase the competitiveness of the Canadian economy.

Canada's New Government has repeatedly demonstrated that we are committed to getting things done for all Canadians. As we move forward, we will work more closely than ever with our stakeholders and the provincial and territorial governments, and we will continue to foster an environment where the marketplace functions as efficiently as possible, and keep encouraging investment in Canadian innovation and in research and development.

It gives me great pleasure to present the annual Report on Plans and Priorities for the Canadian Space Agency, outlining their main initiatives, priorities, and expected outcomes for the upcoming year.

The Industry Portfolio consists of:

  • Business Development Bank of Canada [1]
  • Canadian Space Agency
  • Canadian Tourism Commission [1]
  • Copyright Board Canada
  • Industry Canada
  • National Research Council Canada
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Registry of the Competition Tribunal
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Standards Council of Canada [1]
  • Statistics Canada

[1] Federal Crown corporations do not prepare Reports on Plans and Priorities.

Maxime Bernier
Minister of Industry

1.2 Management Representation Statement

I submit, for tabling in Parliament, the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Canadian Space Agency.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Part III of the 2007-2008 Estimates - Reports on Plans and Priorities.

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) guidance;
  • It is based on the department's Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture (PAA) that were approved by Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and,
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the TBS.

Carole Lacombe
Acting President

1.3 Program Activity Architecture

The CSA manages the Canadian Space Program according to the Canadian Space Strategy (CSS) approved by the Government of Canada in February 2005. The CSS greatly influenced decision-making at the CSA as it streamlined its Strategic Outcomes and set the long-term priorities for all activities under the Program Activity Architecture (PAA) and thus, since April 1st, 2006. The PAA will remain the same for 2007-2008.

To learn more about the Canadian Space Strategy, go to:

Program activity architecture

The PAA is divided into six Program Activities that contribute to the CSA's three Strategic Outcomes. The first four are in line with the CSS thrusts: Space Based Earth Observation, Space Science and Exploration, Satellite Communications, and Space Awareness and Learning. The fifth Program Activity, Generic Space Activities, supports the three scientific and technology thrusts. All Program Activities are supported by the services provided under the Corporate Services and Infrastructure Program Activity.

The CSA manages its Program Activities with a comprehensive end-to-end approach by organizing its scientific and engineering programs into three large clusters:

  • Through Enabling Research, the CSA provides leadership, co-ordination and support to basic and applied research and experimental development in order to increase the knowledge base, devise new research and applications through space missions, and allow the transfer of intellectual property and proven technologies to Canadian industry, academia, and government organizations.

  • Through Space Mission Development, the CSA provides co-ordination and support to the development of space missions through the definition, critical design, manufacturing, integration, testing, calibration, algorithm development, science support and delivery phases leading to launch and early operations of space systems.

  • Through Space Mission Operations, the CSA operates manned and unmanned space missions through crew and ground support personnel training, mission analysis and planning, on-orbit ground control operations, system monitoring, maintenance and logistic support, as well as data-handling and delivery.

Implementation of Results-Based Management

The logic chain of results and reporting below depicts how all PAA levels are linked and contribute ultimately to the CSA Strategic Outcomes. It should be noted that financial and performance information as well as management accountability are linked in the corporate planning and reporting documents outlined below.

Program Activity Logic Model

1.4 Summary Information

Raison d'être

The mandate of the Agency is "to promote the peaceful use and development of space, to advance the knowledge of space through science and to ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians."

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is achieving this mandate by implementing the Canadian Space Program (CSP) in co-operation with other government departments/agencies, industries, and universities, as well as international partners. In addition to delivering its own programs, the CSA is responsible for co-ordinating all federal civil space-related policies and programs pertaining to science and technology research, industrial development, and international co-operation.

To learn more about the mandate of the CSA, go to:

Resources 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010

Financial ($ in millions)




Human (FTEs)




CSA Strategic Outcomes

The CSA contributes to the three following Strategic Outcomes in line with the Government of Canada's top priorities:

Environment and Sustainable Development: A Space Program that helps Canada understand and protect the environment, and develop its resources in a sustainable manner.

Knowledge, Innovation and Economy: A Space Program that generates knowledge and pushes innovation, while leading (where appropriate) to increased productivity and economic growth through commercialization.

Sovereignty and Security: A Space Program that supports recognition of Canada's sovereignty and the security of its communities.

Priority by program activities Type

Space Based Earth Observation (EO)

Develop and operationalize the use of Space Based Earth Observation for the benefits of Canadians.


Space Science and Exploration (SE)

Understand the Solar System and the Universe, expand our knowledge on the constituent elements and origins of life, and strengthen a human presence in space.


Satellite Communications (SC)

Provide all Canadians with the means to participate in and fully benefit from the global information age.


Space Awareness and Learning (AL)

Further public understanding and engagement with regards to space-related issues, ultimately leading to improve the scientific literacy of Canadians.


Generic Space Activities in support of EO, SE, and SC (GSA)

Provide leadership, co-ordination and support to EO, SE, and SC through space activities that are generic.


Corporate Services and Infrastructure

Implement the government's commitment to modern public service in accordance with the Management Accountability Framework's (MAF) expectations.


CSA Contributions to Government of Canada Outcomes

Government of Canada Outcomes
Economy Social International
  1. An Innovative and Knowledge-Based Economy
  2. A Clean and Healthy Environment

  3. Strong Economic Growth
  4. Income Security and Employment for Canadians
  1. Safe and Secure Communities
  2. A Vibrant Canadian Culture and Heritage

  3. Healthy Canadians
  1. A Strong and Mutually Beneficial North American Partnership
  2. A Safe and Secure World Through International Co-operation
  3. A Prosperous Canada Through Global Commerce

CSA Strategic Outcomes
Environment and Sustainable Development: Knowledge, Innovation and Economy: Sovereignty and Security:
A Space Program that helps Canada understand and protect the environment, and develop its Resources in a sustainable manner. A Space Program that generates knowledge and pushes innovation, while leading (where apporpriate) to increased productivity and economic growth through commercialisation. A Space Program that supports recognition of Canada's sovereignty and the security of its communities.

The CSA contributes to the ten Government of Canada Outcomes listed above out of the thirteen measured in the annual Canada's Performance Report to Parliament. However, in order to create an even match between the CSA's Program Activities and Government of Canada Outcomes, only the five outcomes highlighted are recorded in the Canada's Performance Report. In doing so, the CSA's spending contributes to three key policy areas: Economic Affairs, Social Affairs and International Affairs.

Contributions of Program Activities to Government of Canada Outcomes (GCO)

The Program Activity Space Based Earth Observation (EO) contributes to the GCO "A Clean and Healthy Environment";

The Program Activity Space Science and Exploration (SE) contributes to the GCO "A Strong and Mutually Beneficial North American Partnership";

The Program Activity Satellite Communications (SC) contributes to the GCO "Safe and Secure Communities";

The Program Activity Generic Space Activities in support of EO, SE and SC (GSA) contributes to the GCO "An Innovative and Knowledge-Based Economy";

The Program Activity Space Awareness and Learning (AL) contributes to the GCO "A Vibrant Canadian Culture and Heritage".

CSA Contributions to Canada Economic Outcomes

The CSA's three strategic outcomes contribute to the development of Canada's economy as measured against the following outcomes outlined in Canada's Performance report:

  • an innovative and knowledge-based economy;
  • a clean and healthy environment;
  • strong economic growth; and,
  • an income security and employment for Canadians.

The space industry contributes to Canada's economic well-being and helps achieve a higher standard of living and quality of life for all Canadians.

Through its R&D investments and the resulting transfers of applications to the private and public sectors, the CSA's programs and activities attract highly skilled labour that contributes to Canada's knowledge-based economy; helps enhance the Canadian space industry's competitiveness by encouraging dynamic trade relationships with other nations; and increases Canada's ability to compete in the global marketplace.

Earth Observation missions drive many of the changes that are improving our quality of life by helping our government deliver on priorities such as protection of the environment, sustainable development, management of natural resources, understanding climate change, monitoring air quality, and providing support for disaster management.

Satellite communications missions are a key element in linking all Canadians in a communication network including remote and northern communities.

CSA Contributions to Canada Social Outcomes

The CSA three strategic outcomes contribute to Canada's social foundations as measured against the following outcomes outlined in Canada's Performance report:

  • safe and secure communities;
  • a vibrant Canadian culture and heritage; and,
  • healthy Canadians.

As part of the Connecting Canadians priority, space infrastructure allows access and dissemination of timely health, cultural, security and safety related information to all Canadians no matter where they live in Canada.

Earth Observation, communication and navigation satellites drive many of the changes that improve the quality of life of Canadians by helping our government on managing issues relating to the environment as well as to the safety and security of our population. It contributes to the monitoring of parameters relating to the maintenance of a healthy environment over Canadian territory, and supports disaster management in situations such as floods, forest fires and earthquakes. These satellites also provide essential communication tools to support law and order, enforcement interventions and enhance search and rescue capabilities.

In today's context of environmental change and resource depletion, fundamental and applied research in physical and life sciences and in space exploration is predicted to bring about socio-economic benefits in ways that will greatly improve how we live, prosper, and evolve on our planet. For instance, the development of a surface mobility capability on the Moon will require the use of solar-powered electrical propulsion vehicles, which, in turn, could well lead the way toward spin-off commercialisation of green technologies for the transport vehicles of the future.

Satellite communication is essential to provide all Canadians, no matter where they live in Canada, with timely access to expert knowledge and expertise related to health and education through a range of non-commercial services including: e-government, e-learning, tele-justice, tele-education, as well as tele-medicine in areas such as tele-psychiatry, tele-radiology, tele-surgery, and tele-consultations.

CSA Contributions to Canada International Outcomes

The CSA's three strategic outcomes contribute to establishing Canada's international presence as measured against the following outcomes outlined in Canada's Performance report:

  • a strong and mutually beneficial North American partnership;
  • a safe and secure world through international co-operation; and,
  • a prosperous Canada through global commerce.

Space is an essential and strategic tool for Canada to meet its social, economic and foreign policy objectives. Through the development of its space infrastructure, not only is Canada meeting its specific national needs, it is also paving the road for Canada to play a tangible and visible role in responding to issues of interest to the international community.

With its space exploration, science and technology endeavours, which often involve international partners, the CSA plays an influential role in building strong and mutually beneficial partnerships with an increasing number of space-faring countries. In striving to become one of the most advanced, connected and innovative nations in the world, Canada offers and shares tremendous opportunities for the prosperity of global commerce and the safety of the global community through the peaceful use of space.

Priorities of the CSA under the Canadian Space Strategy

The CSA manages the Canadian Space Program according to the Canadian Space Strategy (CSS). The CSS is instrumental in decision-making at the CSA as it streamlines its Strategic Outcomes and sets the long-term priorities for all activities under the Program Activity Architecture (PAA). A priority has been set for each of the four CSS thrust-related Program Activities and two supporting Program Activities that collectively contribute to the success of the Canadian Space Program.

Program Activity: Space Based Earth Observation (EO)

Strategic Outcomes: Environment and Sustainable Development, Knowledge, Innovation and Economy, and Sovereignty and Security

Priority: Develop and operationalize the use of Space Based Earth Observation for the benefits of Canadians.

Expected results Planned Spending
($ in millions)
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
Delivery, directly or in partnership, of Space Based EO data, products and services in response to operational and scientific user requirements in the fields of Environment, Resource and Land Use Management, and Security and Foreign Policy, supported by access capacity development. 114.1 124.6 113.7

Main Initiatives for Space Based Earth Observation (EO)

Given Canada's international stature and geo-political situation, immense territory, rich natural resources, and the changes now occurring in our climate, innovative Earth observation technologies are becoming increasingly important for our country.

Space Based EO enables environmental understanding, monitoring and prediction with unparalleled coverage and scope. Space Based EO enables measurement of atmospheric composition (chemical species, aerosols, water vapour and clouds), atmospheric dynamics, and changes over time. Atmospheric science permits improved modeling of the atmosphere for weather prediction and analysis of the Earth's climate and its changes. Canada has developed internationally recognized expertise in the study of atmospheric chemistry and dynamics through the development of innovative space instrumentations, data analysis and modeling. Canada also has internationally recognized expertise in space-based cloud probing radar systems and associated data exploitation. Space Based EO enables sustainable management and development of natural resources, land use, fisheries and agriculture. Space Based EO also offers cost-effective wide-area surveillance of land, ice and ocean. This information, which can be only obtained from space-based platforms, is vital to ensure monitoring of areas difficult to access, such as the Northwest Passage. Satellites are thus critical to Canada's security and foreign policy.

At the forefront of EO data development, management and exploitation since the early 1970s, Canada has become a world leader in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data collection, operations and services with the launch of RADARSAT-1 in 1995 and is about to demonstrate its continued leadership with RADARSAT-2, to be launched in July 2007. Canada's RADARSAT-2 will provide substantially enhanced data products and services, as well as contribute to C-band SAR data continuity. Canadian government users are expected to include Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Ice Services, Natural Resources Canada, the Department of National Defence, and the provinces and territories.

For the coming years, RADARSAT-2 operations, the design of a constellation of next generation radar satellites and continuing leadership in innovative atmospheric instrumentation and associated data analysis and modeling will be the CSA's main focus in EO. The CSA will also continue its involvement in the ESA's Earth Observation programs and projects, and pursue the development of a mission related to stratospheric wind transport studies through the Chinook project. The data generated by this latter mission will lead to advances in weather and climate prediction models to provide answers related to the health of ozone layer and climate changes.

Program Activity: Space Science and Exploration (SE)

Strategic Outcomes: Knowledge, Innovation and Economy, and Sovereignty and Security

Priority: Understand the Solar System and the Universe, expand our knowledge on the constituent elements and origins of life, and strengthen a human presence in space.

Expected results Planned Spending
($ in millions)
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
Increased participation in Canadian and international opportunities in order to expand the scientific knowledge base made available to Canadian academia and R&D communities, in astronomy, space exploration and solar-terrestrial relation as well as physical and life sciences. 138.5 112.5 98.9

Main Initiatives for Space Science and Exploration (SE)

This priority consists of performing research in, on, and from space in order to answer fundamental and applied scientific questions posed by the Canadian and international scientific communities of importance to Canadians. The Canadian scientific community relies on the CSA to contribute the means to answer these basic questions and ensure a dynamic environment for space scientific research in Canada. With a trained and versatile Astronaut Corps, the CSA continues to develop and maintain human space flight expertise to meet the requirements of the space sciences and human exploration programs.

Canada's participation in the International Space Station (ISS) and its contribution of the Mobile Servicing System including Canadarm2 to one of the most ambitious engineering project ever undertaken by mankind clearly demonstrates Canada's leadership in space robotics and provides access to a very unique space laboratory to both Canadian researchers and specialist astronauts. This solid involvement also ensures that Canada remains a partner of choice for future international partnerships that will explore the solar system. Promising Canadian technology avenues such as surface mobility could be considered for future Canadian international space exploration contribution.

The Space Science and Exploration activities have been regrouped under two pillars: Space Astronomy and the Solar System, and Physical and Life Sciences. Over the next three years, a series of Space Astronomy missions will continue to contribute to a better understanding of the early Universe and the internal structure of Sun-like stars. In parallel, the CSA is developing a key element of the James Webb Space Telescope planned for launch in 2013, as well as, contributions to two European Space Agency space astronomy missions - Herschel and Planck. The CSA will also be providing the ultraviolet detectors for the telescope UVIT to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the ASTROSAT mission.

As for planetary exploration, participation in the international Global Exploration Strategy (GES) remains the focus. Following completion of this key international framework document, Canada will be in a position to confirm which scientific missions and technologies it will contribute to as part of the overall international exploration roadmap. Moon exploration is currently the main focus of international partners. Under consideration are science-driven missions coupled with technological contributions on the surface of the moon that, through barter agreements with our partners, are expected to afford access to space for our astronaut corps, and, at the same time, provide tangible benefits to Canadians on Earth.

In the immediate term, the Canadian space science and exploration community will continue to work on the development of a meteorological station for NASA's Phoenix mission and the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), two key opportunities in the international collaborative missions to explore Mars and the Moon. The CSA, in partnership with Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC), has initiated the Near Earth Orbit Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) project, a micro-satellite to survey and track the population of near-earth asteroids, comets and satellites. An important goal of this micro-satellite project is to provide a multi-mission micro-satellite bus to enable more frequent and affordable Canadian science and technology missions in the future.

Solar-Terrestrial science improves our understanding of the physics of the sun, the heliosphere, solar storms and the violent changes of the Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere that can have dramatic impacts on satellites, communications, navigation and human spaceflight. This area of science addresses the impact of solar activity on the magnetosphere and the manifestation of these phenomena on Earth (aurora, geomagnetically induced currents, disturbances to radio signals) and in space (radiation belts, space weather).

Canadian scientists are leading a number of solar-terrestrial research on upcoming Canadian and international space missions such as ePOP (enhanced Polar Outflow Probe) on the Canadian small satellite CASSIOPE, THEMIS (NASA), and Swarm (ESA) for the study of Earth's magnetic field. In addition, two new key international missions, the Canadian-led ORBITALS with a major U.S. contribution for the study of the outer radiation belt, and the Chinese-led Ravens/KuaFu, are under feasibility study.

Physical and Life Sciences research activities have provided results despite the challenges of access to the International Space Station (ISS). Since the resumption of Shuttle flights in mid-2006, Canadian scientists have been using Canada's allocation on the ISS, as well as on other available vehicles to carry out microgravity experiments in fluid physics, human physiology, and materials processing in a combination of basic and applied research.

In the coming years, the CSA will participate in a Foton mission with the Enhanced Osteoporosis Experiments in Orbit (eOSTEO) to study and quantify bone cell activity under weightless conditions and evaluate potential anti-osteoporosis treatments.

Canadian Astronauts will also perform science experiments on behalf of the Canadian and international research communities and continue to participate in the assembly and maintenance of the International Space Station during the upcoming mission STS-118/13A.1, with Canadian Astronaut Dave Williams on board.

The CSA will maintain its international commitment and fulfill its responsibilities to the ISS partnership through the provision of operational, training, logistical, support, and engineering services on the ISS Mobile Servicing System (MSS) and supporting hardware and software.

Program Activity: Satellite Communications (SC)

Strategic Outcomes: Knowledge, Innovation and Economy, and Sovereignty and Security

Priority: Provide all Canadians with the means to participate in and fully benefit from the global information age.

Expected results Planned Spending
($ in millions)
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
  1. Increased access for Canadians to state-of-the-art space communications systems and services to meet their social and economic needs.

  2. Better use of space communications, search and rescue, and global navigation satellite systems and applications to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of other government departments and organizations in delivering services to Canadians.

25.1 28.2 29.1

Main Initiatives for Satellite Communications (SC)

Satellite technology has dramatically changed the world of communications. By offering instantaneous global access and global broadcasting, SC technologies have begun to erase the notion of distance, bringing remote regions into a global village and enabling new business models based on broadband services, enhanced personal communications, global navigation, and positioning and localization services.

For this priority, the CSA intends more specifically to increase the connectivity of Canadian communities, support federal government departments in the delivery of programs and services, and Canada's foreign policy objectives.

With the launch of AnikF2 in 2004, the rural and remote areas of Canada are closer than ever to benefiting from tele-services using broadband (Ka-band) capabilities. A range of non-commercial services is supported including: e-government, e-learning, tele-justice, tele-education, and tele-medicine disciplines such as tele-psychiatry, tele-radiology, tele-surgery, and tele-consultations. This satellite technology permits specialists located in main centres to use high definition real-time links, thereby reducing the cost of travel and improving the access and quality of care for every Canadian.

Over the next three years, the operation and use of the Ka-band payload will be one of the main areas of focus for this priority. Another focus will be the development of a high-speed, high-capacity space messaging experimental payload, called Cascade, of interest to resource exploration firms, industrial clients, and remote research communities.

Among other activities contributing to this priority will be the continued efforts deployed through Canada's participation in Europe's navigation satellite program, GalileoSat, a joint undertaking by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union, and the support to Canadian industry's participation in the ESA ARTES program to advance and demonstrate new telecommunications products and services.

For the time horizon covered by this RPP, the CSA will delay its Satellite Communication Ground Segment Technologies and Applications Development programs. These programs are to develop, in co-operation with Canadian industry and other government departments, a selection of products and services that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of satellite communication systems and the delivery of satellite communications related services.

Program Activity: Generic Space Activities in support of EO, SE, and SC (GSA)

Strategic Outcomes: Environment and Sustainable Development, Knowledge, Innovation and Economy, and Sovereignty and Security

Priority: Provide leadership, co-ordination or support to Earth Observation (EO), Space Science and Exploration (SE), and Satellite Communications (SC) Program Activities through technology research and space-qualification activities that are generic in their nature.

Expected results Planned Spending
($ in millions)
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
Innovative space technologies, techniques, and design and test methodologies in response to advanced developments required for future space missions and activities. 47.5 48.9 50.4

Main Initiatives for Generic Space Activities in support of EO, SE and SC (GSA)

The Program Activity, Generic Space Activities, supports the three scientific and technology thrusts. Generic Space Activities provides support to Enabling Research through the development of high-risk technologies by industry, academia and not-for-profit organizations and through the maintenance of in-house technical capabilities by conducting advanced R&D projects that meet the criteria of excellence in, and relevance to the implementation of the Canadian Space Program.

A new Technology Plan will provide roadmaps and a multi-year implementation plan to guide and prioritize CSA Technology Programs. Priority technologies are defined in consultation with industry and other stakeholders.

Through the Space Technology Development Program, Canada's capabilities are enhanced to support national and international space missions or activities of Canadian interest by awarding new technology development contracts to industry through annual Requests for Proposals.

The transfer and commercialization of space technologies and their applications to other sectors of the economy enhances Canada's industrial competitiveness. This is being achieved by managing the CSA portfolio of patents and intellectual property licenses, by conducting commercialization assessments and developing marketing plans for technologies developed in-house, and for technologies developed within the Canadian industry.

The David Florida Laboratory will continue to support to Space Mission Development by carrying out world-class and cost-effective environmental space-qualification services for the assembly, integration and testing of spacecraft systems.

Program Activity: Space Awareness and Learning (AL)

Strategic Outcome: Knowledge, Innovation and Economy

Priority: Further public understanding and engagement with regards to space-related issues, ultimately leading to improving the scientific literacy of Canadians.

Expected results Planned Spending
($ in millions)
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
Increased public awareness of Canada's activities in space and space benefits positively affecting the quality of life of Canadians. 6.5 8.0 9.3

Main Initiatives for Space Awareness and Learning (AL)

The Government of Canada is committed to building a 21st century economy through a new focus on science and technology. If Canada is to meet the challenge posed by a truly global economy, Canadians must be encouraged to pursue careers in science and technology, as a skilled pool of human capital is at the heart of an innovative economy. We must encourage science and technology literacy today, particularly among our youth if we are to influence their choice of science and technology careers in the future. Canadians' interest in science and technology must also be engaged by sharing our discoveries and breakthroughs in meaningful ways that communicate how they positively impact Canadians in their daily lives. Space continues to inspire individuals, communities and entire nations to reach for their highest aspirations and challenge the best of their abilities.

Under this priority, the CSA is working with and through a growing number of partners to enhance public understanding and engagement, especially among youth and their families, through a range of learning and awareness initiatives. The Learning Program is reaching out to a greater number of partners and has forged solid relationships with other government departments, science centres and museums, youth and science associations, the private sector, and the education community across Canada. To ensure Canada's capacity to conduct breakthrough science and maintain its leadership in technological innovation, we must be able to attract, develop and retain highly qualified personnel in science and engineering, including those fields related to space. Other activities supporting this priority include media relations and information services, exhibitions and creative services, and awareness events with astronauts, scientists and engineers.

Program Activity: Corporate Services and Infrastructure

Strategic Outcomes: Environment and Sustainable Development, Knowledge, Innovation and Economy, and Sovereignty and Security

Priority: Implement the government's commitment to modern public service in accordance with the Management Accountability Framework's (MAF) expectations.

Expected results Planned Spending
($ in millions)
2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
  1. Corporate Services provide an added value to CSA managers in the performance of their duties.

  2. Key corporate risks are addressed and mitigated.

36.5 35.3 35.8

Main Initiatives for Corporate Services and Infrastructure

During the planning horizon of this Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP), the CSA will continue to improve its management practices in accordance with the Management Accountability Framework (MAF). Special attention will be given to the implementation of the Policy on the Management of Resources and Results Structure (MRRS), the Public Service Modernization Act and sound risk management practices.

The CSA will implement the MRRS by:

  • Establishing CSA strategic outcome socio-economic indicators; and
  • Implementing systematic linkage between financial and performance information and tracking every financial transaction by Program Activity expected results, starting April 1, 2007.

The CSA will implement the Public Service Modernization Act by:

  • Finalizing the development of a Strategic Human Resources Plan; and
  • Pursuing the renewal of policies and practices and continuing to train for all managers and employees with regards to work relations, classification and staffing in accordance with the Staffing Management Accountability Framework.

The CSA will pursue the integration of risk management into all decision-making processes by:

  • Improving specific management practices in order to mitigate the four risks of highest priority identified in the corporate risk assessment profile; and
  • Enhancing the Project Approval Management Framework in order to incorporate project and corporate risk assessment as well as mitigation.

1.5 Departmental plans and priorities

Strategic Context of the Canadian Space Agency

International Environment

In the global context, space is recognized by industrialized nations as an essential and strategic tool to meet their social, economic and foreign policy objectives. Accordingly, many governments around the world, traditional and newly emerging space-faring nations, are increasing their investments in space activities, looking for increased consolidation and advancement of their space capabilities. Canada must therefore possess a space infrastructure not only to meet its specific national needs, but also to play a tangible and visible role in responding to issues that interest the international community. Canada has been losing ground internationally in terms of public expenditures in the space sector. The ratio of public investment in space to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a prominent illustration of the decreasing effort of the Canadian Government to finance the national space program. The national effort to finance the space program in 2004 (0.025% of GDP) is almost one third of what it was in 1994 (0.068%)1 . It is notable that both China and India have moved ahead of Canada in their proportional investments to GDP.

International co-operation is critical to the implementation of the Canadian Space Program. Canada can leverage its resources and maximize its return on investment by working in partnership with other space-faring nations. Such partnerships allow for sharing of technical expertise, knowledge and infrastructure, and allow access to areas where Canada has chosen not to invest due to its limited resources. In addition, increasing concerns over issues such as space debris and climate change that transcends national borders favour increasing cooperation between nations with common goals. Canada co-operates with a number of international partners and has ties to various space agencies. Although the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) remain Canada's longstanding international partners, we are increasingly developing relationships with other foreign space organizations in Japan, India, Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Russia.

To learn more about Canada's international partners, go to:

Canada is regarded as a reliable partner possessing unique technical and scientific capabilities, and as a nation that can meaningfully contribute to the initiatives of foreign space agencies. In particular, emerging space-faring countries in Asia and South America may offer great potential for future co-operation. Consequently, Canada maintains its efforts to establish a foothold in these emerging markets. It is of paramount importance that the CSA continue to work with its stakeholders to ensure that our research community and industry remain competitive vis-à-vis world standards and markets.

The perception of Canada's space industry as being internationally competitive is confirmed by the results of the 2005 Annual Survey of the Canadian Space Sector. With annual revenues of $2.5 billion, of which exports represent 50% ($1.245 billion)2 of the industry's total revenues, Canada has a higher percentage of exports than any other major space-faring nation. The main destinations of Canadian space exports are as follows: 47% generally destined to the US, 32% to Europe and 8% to Asia. 3

National Environment

The Canadian Space Agency recognizes that the best means of turning scientific and technological advancements into innovative products and services is through partnerships with Canadian universities and industry. The CSA firmly believes that industry is the best vehicle for providing a broad range of services to diverse groups of users - from individuals to public and private organizations. With its highly skilled workforce, the space industry in Canada not only generates wealth in our economy, but also provides Canadians with competitive products and services that would otherwise have to be obtained from foreign sources.

In 2005, Canada's space industry generated $2.5 billion in revenues.4 Satellite Communications continued to generate the lion's share of the Canadian space sector's revenues with a total of $1.83 billion. A breakdown of the revenues by sectors of activity is as follows: Satellite Communications: 77.6% ($1.83 billion); Earth Observation: 8% ($192 million); Navigation: 4.8% ($120 million); Robotics: 6.1% ($153 million); Space Science: 3.4% ($84 million); and all space-related activities in areas other than those mentioned above: $11 million.5 While small in number of firms, the Canadian space sector is knowledge-intensive and at the forefront of research and innovation. Building on the strengths of 6,710 highly skilled workers,6 Canadian firms have acquired world-leading capabilities in niche areas such as earth observation, space robotics, satellite communications and navigation.

Given that the national market is relatively small, it is critical that the Canadian industry be able to leverage foreign investments and generate export sales. Capitalizing on export revenue depends on the industry's ability to commercialize highly competitive products and services, and establish local partnerships. The CSA works very closely with the Canadian space industry and scientists in 25 Canadian universities and 12 research centres on the planning and implementation of the Canadian Space Program.

To learn more about Canadian space-related organizations, go to:

Government Environment

The Canadian Space Strategy (CSS) is the framework that guides the CSA in leading Canada's national Space Program (CSP). The CSS is a concise overview that serves as a tool for planning purposes, and provides our stakeholders and partners with insight on Canada's strategic directions regarding space. In keeping with its objective to be an open and transparent organization, the CSS was developed in full consultation with Government of Canada organizations and with its Canadian stakeholders, particularly through the use of the CSA Advisory Council and the thrusts' Advisory Groups. The CSS is reviewed periodically to reflect the changing internal and external environment that characterises and influences Canada's space activities.

In consultation with Government of Canada organizations, the CSA is constantly seeking ways to contribute significantly to the effective and efficient delivery of government programs and services in the fields of: communications, environment and sustainable development, security, intelligence, emergency preparedness, industry development and space science.

The wide range of space applications and technologies used by the Government is reflected in the CSA's three Strategic Outcomes, as well as in a number of partnerships between the CSA and other federal organizations. Sorted by Strategic Outcome, the list of partner organizations include:

  • Environment and Sustainable Development: Natural Resources Canada including the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Environment Canada, Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

  • Knowledge, Innovation and Economy: The Communications Research Centre of Industry Canada, which manages satellite communications programs on behalf of the CSA, National Research Council Canada, Industry Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and the Canadian International Development Agency.

  • Sovereignty and Security: Department of National Defence, the Canadian Coast Guard, and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.

Plans of the Canadian Space Agency

The CSA will achieve its priorities by focusing on the following five elements:

  1. a strong science capacity;
  2. a proficient technology base;
  3. qualified test and operations infrastructures;
  4. dynamic space industry expanded markets; and,
  5. national and international partnerships.

Strong Science Capacity

Canada must possess the critical mass of intellectual capital to create and use knowledge. The increasing importance of space in our lives makes it imperative for our country to have a strong space science community capable of generating knowledge within our own borders, and be able to share and exchange knowledge with our international partners. In terms of concrete action, the plan for the CSA to contribute to a strong science capacity, in co-operation with national granting councils and other funding partners, consists of:

  • encouraging the entry and emergence of new space science researchers in Canada, particularly through small, short-term projects;
  • continuing to support researchers with the proven potential to become world leaders in their fields; and,
  • stabilizing long-term support to a critical mass of the best research teams, particularly those in fields identified as Canadian priorities.

Proficient Technology Base

Canada must have its own core technology base to meet its unique requirements, as well as the skills and capabilities that make it an appealing partner for other countries. Our technology base must take into consideration the niche sectors where Canada has established and intends to retain world leadership, but must also be dynamic and innovative to evolve with the changing nature of our national needs and objectives in space, as influenced by national and international environments. The CSA developed a Technology Plan that will guide the development of new technologies. A series of consultations took place to define the key technology areas where Canada should invest. The CSA will promote and stimulate co-operation and complementary research among academic, industry and government organizations when it supports government policy decisions or the development of new technologies and products in Canadian industry.

Qualified Test and Operations Infrastructures

The David Florida Laboratory (DFL) provides world-class and cost-effective environmental space qualification services for the assembly, integration and testing of spacecraft systems and sub-systems to all of the CSA's programs. In order to maintain an appropriate level of space infrastructure, the CSA will encourage private-public partnerships to maximize the efficient utilization of the DFL facilities and equipment based in Canada, as well as increase their access to our international partners provided that Canadian interests and requirements are protected.

Dynamic Space Industry and Expanded Markets

The CSA recognizes that Canada's space industry must be sufficiently large and diverse to meet our needs and goals in space. Canada's space industry must also maintain the high calibre of products and services it has demonstrated to date. However, given that the Canadian market is relatively small, it is critical that the industry be able to leverage foreign investments and generate export sales in order to remain sustainable. Capitalizing on export revenue depends on industry's ability to commercialize highly competitive products and services, as well as the Government of Canada's ability to preserve open trade relations with its closest international partners. In order to help the industry meet and succeed in these challenges, the CSA will align its programs and actions to support technology and application R&D as well as innovation in industry in order to build synergies that will bolster Canadian industry's competitiveness and market development efforts.

National and International Partnerships

Co-operation between scientists in government and academia; co-ordination between industry and the CSA to establish the most relevant technology base; and the alignment between R&D, hardware manufacturers and service providers, are among the many partnerships that must exist in Canada to ensure that we continue to have a dynamic national space program. Given the potential of space to provide applications directly related to the public good, one of the CSA's most important objectives is to accelerate the pace and depth at which Government of Canada departments and agencies use space science, technology and applications to help fulfill their mandates.

To this end, the CSA's plan consists of:

  • seeking new and existing government department requirements in which space can make a positive contribution;
  • developing the means to satisfy these needs in co-operation with Canadian industry; and,
  • harmonizing its investments and activities with those of client departments as part of an integrated and user-oriented approach.

International co-operation channels are also important to complement our domestic capabilities and strengthen relationships between Canada and foreign governments, scientists and private sector organizations. The CSA plans to continue making a concerted effort to strengthen strategic international partnerships of interest to Canada, while ensuring that our national expertise, products and services make Canada a partner of choice for other nations and private entities.

  1. Euroconsult - Conference Board of Canada: Socio-economic Study and Policy Analysis of Future Canadian Investments in Spaced-based Robotics Opportunities (2006)
  2. State of the Canadian Space Sector 2005; Overall Revenues, Domestic v. Export Revenues
  3. State of the Canadian Space Sector 2005; Export Revenues
  4. State of the Canadian Space Sector 2005; Overall Revenues
  5. State of the Canadian Space Sector 2005; Revenues by Sector of Activity
  6. State of the Canadian Space Sector 2005; Space Sector Workforce, Workforce Groups