In today’s Short Cuts: It was pretty quiet during the holidays but there were a couple of noteworthy items including the Governor General of Canada awarding the Order of Canada to 100 people including six from the space community, the Canadian Space Agency issuing a new tender notice for the MEOSAR Ground Segment Phase 2 and awarding two contracts, China releasing it’s next 5 year space plan and more.
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The Governor General of Canada office announced today 100 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The list includes 3 Companions (C.C.), 22 Officers (O.C.) and 75 Members (C.M.). Of those, six work or have worked in space related fields.
Victoria Kaspi, an astrophysicist from McGill University is one of three people to join the Companions of the Order of Canada.
William MacDonald Evans, better known within the community as Mac Evans, was Canada’s longest serving president of the Canadian Space Agency and becomes a Member of the Order of Canada.
The Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) has posted an update on the BRITE Constellation mission. The BRITE (BRIght Target Explorer) Constellation is a network of five nanosatellites to investigate stellar structure and evolution of the brightest stars in the sky and their interaction with the local environment.
Canadian participation includes the University of Toronto including the UTIAS Space Flight Lab, the University of British Columbia and the Université de Montréal.
From CASCA: The mission has matured to the point where it continues in full science operations, 14 data releases to BRITE target PIs have already taken place, and many datasets are in the public domain and available on the BRITE public archive. The most recent Call for Proposals closed on 01 December 2016, and 15 new proposals for observation are currently being evaluated.
From the tender: The objectives of the resultant MEOSAR Ground Segment Phase II project are:
- The design, build and commissioning of two Medium Earth Orbit Local User Terminals (MEOLUTs) with the capability to provide coverage of all of Canada’s Search and Rescue Area of Responsibility (SAR AOR), and integrate the MEOLUTs into the existing Operational Canadian Search and Rescue satellite infrastructure to provide a fully-operational system that will provide accurate and timely location of alert beacons to the Canadian Mission Control
- To deliver In-Service Support (ISS) that will allow the management, control and maintenance of the above while maintaining full operational compliance with COSPAS-SARSAT and national specifications.
Canadian Space Agency Contract Notice Awards
The Canadian Space Agency issued the following contract just before the holidays;
- Manipulator universal robot to Advanced Motion & Controls Ltd. for $$50,064.71
- The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) requires one (1) light robotic manipulator arm. This arm will be integrated to one or multiple mobile platforms (rovers) to allow contact instruments (e.g. microscope) to be deployed and positioned, as well as enable various manipulation tasks (e.g. sample capture) to be conducted.
OSIRIS-REx Executes First Deep Space Maneuver
NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft executed its first deep space maneuver Dec. 28, 2016, putting it on course for an Earth flyby in September 2017. NASA will continue to examine telemetry and tracking data as it becomes available at the current low data rate and will have more information in January.
Canada has contributed the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) instrument which will measure the surface materials and topography of the asteroid Bennu for six months when it reaches Bennu in 2018.
On December 27 China released its latest five year space plan. Highlights include building a multi-modular space station in the 2020’s, a Mars orbiter/lander/rover to launch in 2020, continued exploration of the moon and developing a super-heavy rocket around 2030. To say China’s space ambitions and prowess are growing would not be an overstatement.
Upcoming Noteworthy Events
- CARIC’s Inaugural Research Workshop for Saskatchewan, January 18, 2017, Saskatoon
- Queens Space Conference, “the Next Giant Leap”, February 3-5, 2017, Kingston
- NASA Space Apps Challenge – April 29-30, 2017, Kitchener-Waterloo
- Earth Observation Summit 2017, June 20-22, 2017, Montreal
- 2017 CARIC National Research Forum , August 8-9, 2017, Vancouver
- Canadian SmallSat Symposium, October 17-19, 2017, Toronto