Space Oddities-10.16.2016: Proudly Canadian

Canada, space, technology and a little music.

Canada has made incredible contributions to space exploration.  I never realized just how much until I took a look at the website of our space agency.

The Canadian Space Agency (or Agence Spatiale Canadienne, ASC), was established in 1990, however Canada has been contributing to space exploration with both the European Space Agency and NASA since launching its first artificial satellite in 1962 (here).  It reports to the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Canadians can be very proud of some of the contributions that the CSA has been involved with over the years…..

The Canadarm was a mechanical arm that was first used by NASA on board the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981, assisting for more than 30 years and 90 flights before its retirement in 2011.

The Phoenix Mars Lander Mission was Canada’s first opportunity to explore the red planet.  The mission began on August 4, 2007 and ran around 5 months(Phoenix).

The Mobile Serving System (MSS) is part of the International Space Station (ISS) and is composed of three areas:

The Canadarm2, launched in 2001, assisted in building of the ISS and is still on active duty.

Dextre is the ISS’s resident “handyman”, whose assistance with maintenance helps to keep the station running smoothly and allows the astronauts to focus more on their research.

The Mobile Base System is a “mobile platform and storage facility” used by astronauts during space walks.

The Curiosity and the Mars Science Laboratory Mission began with the landing of Curiosity on Mars on August 6, 2012.  Canada’s contribution is the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), a geological instrument used to analyze samples in the quest to determine the habitability of Mars (Curiosity).

We have also had twelve astronauts involved with space exploration.  Ten have since retired.  Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar, Christ Hadfield and Julie Payette, just to name a few.

Jeremy R. Hansen and David Saint Jacques are currently on active duty.  David will be heading on a new mission to the ISS in 2018.

 The James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch in October 2018, is a collaborative effort between the CSA, NASA and the European Space Agency and will be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

It’s not just about Canada’s involvement with the world.  The CSA is a strong supporter of teaching children about science and technology.  Everything from games and activities, to hosting a talk with an astronaut is available on their website.  Here is the link for a Canadaarm2 Simulator that you can try out (a download is required first, and I haven’t had a chance to try it out myself yet).

Canadarm2 Simulator

Finally, I wanted to include a music video between Chris Hadfield and Canadian singer Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies.  This collaboration was created while Chris was aboard the ISS.  It was done to celebrate music education.  This is so Canadian!!

There is so much to read about and be proud of.  I hope that you take a moment to read some of the links that I provided (I know that there are quite a few).  As a lover of all things space, I am glad that I was able to share this with you.

Feature image courtesy of Wikipedia.  Video courtesy of YouTube.

Text © Written In Geek blog (2016) All rights reserved
Pictures © Written In Geek blog, used with subject’s permission or under public domain (2016)

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