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Canadian Space Agency

Canadian Space AgencyThe Canadian Space Agency is the Canadian government space agency 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 Steven MacLean 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, Ontario, at the David Florida Laboratory and small liaison offices in Washington, D.C.; Paris; Cape Canaveral, Florida; and Houston, Texas.

Steve MacLean was named as president of the Canadian Space Agency on September 2, 2008.

Between 1945 and 1960, Canada undertook a number of small launcher and satellite related projects under the aegis of defence research, including the development of the Black Brant rocket as well as series of advanced studies examining both orbital rendezvous and re-entry. In 1957, scientists and engineers at the Canadian Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment under the leadership of John H. Chapman embarked on a project initially known simply as S-27 or the Topside Sounder Project. This work would soon lead to the development of Canada's first satellite known as Alouette 1.

With the launch of Alouette 1 in September 1962 Canada became the third country to put a man-made satellite into space. At the time, Canada only possessed upper atmospheric launch capabilities, and therefore Alouette 1 was sent aloft by NASA from Vandenberg AFB in California. The technical excellence of the satellite, which lasted for ten years instead of the expected one, prompted the further study of the ionosphere with the Canadian designed US launched, international ISIS program. This undertaking was designated an International Milestone of Electrical Engineering by IEEE in 1993. The launch of Anik A-1 in 1972, made Canada the first country in the world to establish its own domestic geostationary communication satellite network.

These and other space related activities in the 1980s compelled the Canadian government to promulgate the Canadian Space Agency Act which established the Canadian Space Agency. The Act received royal assent on May 10, 1990 and came into force on December 14, 1990.

The mandate of the Canadian Space 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'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.

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Canadian Space Agency