Canadian Space Agency

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Canadian Space Agency

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA or, in French, l'Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC) is the government department responsible for Canada's space program. It was established in March 1989 by the Canadian Space Agency Act and sanctioned in December 1990. The Chief Executive Officer of the agency is the President who reports to the Minister of Industry.

The headquarters of the CSA is located at John H. Chapman Space Centre in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. The agency also has offices in Ottawa, Canada at the David Florida Laboratory (which is mainly an engineering installation) and small liaison offices in Washington, D.C., Paris, France, Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Houston, Texas.

The agency is a relatively modest federal establishment, with only 575 employees and a rotating student population of about 100 interns or summer workers. Most of the staff is at the Chapman Centre.



With the launch of Alouette in 1962 Canada became the third Country to launch a man-made satellite into space. Another Canadian first with the launch of Anik A-1, making Canada the first country in the world to have its own domestic geostationary communication satellite network in 1972.

Mission and mandate


The Canadian Space Agency's mission statement says that the agency is committed to leading the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

To achieve this, the CSA attempts to promote an environment where all levels of the organization:

  • pursue excellence collectively
  • advocate a client-oriented attitude
  • support employee-oriented practises and open communications
  • commit themselves to both empowerment and accountability and
  • pledge to cooperate and work with partners to mutual benefit


The legislated mandate of the CSA, from the Canadian Space Agency Act, SC. 1990, c. 13, 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".

Cooperation with other national agencies

The CSA has several formal and informal partnerships and collaborative programs or agreements with space agencies in other countries, such as NASA, ESA and JAXA.

Since January 1st 1979, Canada has the special status of a cooperating state with the ESA, paying for the privilege and also investing in working time and providing scientific instruments which are placed on European probes. On June 21st 2000, the accord was renewed for a 4th period, this time for 10 years. By virtue of this accord Canada takes part in ESA deliberative bodies and decision-making and in ESA's programmes and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programmes. The accord has a provision specifically ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada.

Future ambitions

Along with the planned manned missions into space, the CSA has finished design and build phases of a new space telescope to be launched within the year (launch date TBA). The telescope will be the smallest ever sent into space as well as the cheapest (at a cost of around $10,000,000 CDN). [1] (

Human presence in space

See also

External links

fr:Agence spatiale canadienne de:Canadian Space Agency pt:Agência Espacial Canadiana


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