Canadian Space Revenues Exceeded $3 Billion in 2009

The Canadian Space Agency’s latest annual report, The State of the Canadian Space Sector 2009, shows that the nation’s space revenues exceeded $3 billion in that year. In the report, CSA President Steve MacLean wrote:

The talented men and women who make up the Canadian space workforce are the backbone of the space sector.  In 2009, workforce numbers experienced the second fastest growth rate (after 2004) since we started publishing this survey thirteen years ago.  The Canadian Space Sector now employs 7,564 people of which 3,770 are highly qualified professionals.

Revenues for the Canadian space sector broke through the 3 billion dollar mark in 2009, increasing 8% over 2008 results.  Both domestic and export revenues drove this growth; representing 51% and 49% of total revenues, respectively.  Revenues increased in all categories surveyed with space segment contributing the largest increases with gains of $111M.  Certain sectors of activity such as space sciences continue to decline and will need investments to turn around this trend.

Earth observation and robotics endure as niche areas in which Canada exceeds. In 2009, the CANADARM2 successfully captured a free-floating spacecraft, reaffirming the important role that Canadian space robotics will play in maintaining and resupplying the International Space Station.  Earth Observation images continue to be as strategic as they are inspiring to people around the world.  In 2009, images gathered from the RADARSAT-1 satellite were woven together to create some of the most impressive earth observation pictures available, via the Mosaics project.

Collaboration with international partners has fueled new and exciting opportunities for Canadian space companies and the CSA.  Canada is a cooperating member of ESA, which enables Canadian organizations to collaborate on European projects; such as the SMOS and PROBA-2, two satellites launched in 2009.  Other partners, such as NASA, continue to support some of the Canada’s most ambitious space projects. Continued cooperation is assured with the US-Canada Framework Agreement on Outer Space, signed in September of 2009; and with the new Cooperation Agreement between Canada and ESA for space science and technology, signed in December of 2010.