Canada Increases Commitment to Space Program

CSAOTTAWA, ONT. (CSA PR) — Industry Minister James Moore was joined today in Ottawa by Commander Chris Hadfield and astronauts Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques where he announced Canada’s commitment to fly two Canadian astronauts to space by 2024.

The announcement is the result of the Government of Canada’s decision to renew Canada’s participation in the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is a joint endeavour among space agencies from Canada, the United States, Japan, Russia, and the European Union. Canada is the 3rd country to extend its participation until 2024.

Today’s announcement follows in the footsteps of Col. Chris Hadfield’s historic mission as Commander of the ISS. This commitment will ensure that both Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques, Canada’s active astronauts will fly to space. It also signals Canada’s involvement in future space missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Minister Moore also announced three additional measures:

  • The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will provide $10.5 million to MDA to continue technical support for Canadarm2, Dextre, and the mobile base on the ISS;
  • Canada is extending by two years its collaboration with NASA to participate in the Mars Science Laboratory mission, also known as the Mars Curiosity rover; and
  • Four new Canadian science experiments to be conducted aboard the ISS in the fall. The experiments, led by Canadian universities, will test the effects of weightlessness on the human body and investigate health issues stemming from space travel.

Quick facts

  • Canada has an incredibly proud reputation in space exploration. Our world-famous Canadarms and Dextre built the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Canada’s extension to the ISS is backed by a four year commitment starting in 2020.
  • One Canadian astronaut is guaranteed a flight to space by 2019, the other by 2024. Selection of the CSA astronaut to fly first will be based on mission requirements, which will be discussed with ISS partners during the coming months.
  • Economic Action Plan 2015 announced a $30 million investment over four years towards Canada’s partnership with the European Space Agency’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications System program (ARTES). Through ARTES, Canadian companies in the satellite communications sector will have the opportunity to simulate their technologies in space, an essential part of commercialization.
  • Economic Action Plan 2015 also provides $243.5 million over 10 years to support Canada’s participation in the Thirty Meter Telescope. The majority of the Government’s support for the telescope will be spent in Canada.


“Chris Hadfield made Canadians proud when he became the first Canadian to walk in space and command the International Space Station. Our government is committed to ensuring two more Canadians fly to space within the next decade. More importantly, it confirms a great future for Canada in space for years to come.”

– Industry Minister James Moore

“I am delighted that Canada has committed to extending its participation in the International Space Station (ISS) through 2024, and its support for other exciting initiatives with NASA in space and Earth Science including the James Webb Space Telescope and the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. The Canadian Space Agency’s Mobile Servicing System, robotics expertise and crew members continue to provide critical contributions to the ISS program. A commitment to continuing to utilize this tremendous resource will enable the international research community to accomplish important goals including cutting-edge research and technology development that will enable human and robotic exploration of destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including asteroids and Mars. We look forward to our future cooperation.”

– Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator

“Canada’s contribution to the international space community is essential to our ability to continue to influence the future of space utilization and exploration. The extension of Canada’s commitment to the International Space Station until 2024 signals to our industry that Canada’s future in space is a priority for the government. This is another important step as we continue to move towards a cohesive long-term vision for Canada’s future in space, and we look forward to working closely with the government on this important file forward in the months ahead.”

– Jim Quick, President & CEO, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC)

“Canada has made a very important and strategic decision in extending its commitment to the International Space Station to 2024. Canadarm and Canadarm2 helped to build it, and Canadarm2 and Dextre play important roles in helping to maintain it. Renewing our commitment to this important international partnership helps to maintain Canada’s market position in space station robotics.”

– Don Osborne, president of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. Information Systems Group