The Honourable James Moore, PC, MP
Minister of Industry
June 2, 2015
Check Against Delivery
Thank you, Jeremy and David.
Students from École Carrefour-Jeunesse and York Street Public School in Ottawa.
I'm pleased to be here on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper for this important announcement.
Many of you know that Canada has a long and proud history of accomplishments in space.
We were the third country in the world to put our own research satellite into orbit and the first to have our own communications satellite, beaming television to the far corners of Canada's North.
The Canadian space sector generates revenues in excess of $3 billion annually and employs some 8,000 highly skilled women and men, including David and Jeremy.
We are known for our space robots—Canadarm, Canadarm2, Dextre—and for the world-class companies that work in the space sector.
And who can forget Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station and the first Canadian to walk in space.
Which brings me to why I am here today.
Today, I am pleased to announce that Canada will invest the necessary funds to renew our membership in the International Space Station.
Because of this, Canada will send two new astronauts to space within the next decade.
Canada will be the third country to signal our commitment to the ISS – ahead of the Japanese Space Agency, and the European Space Agency.
Commander Hadfield taught us the wonders of working and living in space.
Following in his footsteps will be Lieutenant-Colonel Jeremy Hansen and Dr. David Saint-Jacques.
As you walk through the Life in Orbit exhibit today, think about what astronauts, like Chris Hadfield, experienced.
Think about what it must feel like to gaze down upon your country, crossing the entire nation from the Pacific to the Atlantic in just 14 minutes.
Imagine how it would feel to float at the controls of Canadarm2, and command the 17-metre robotic arm to reach out into space and catch a visiting spacecraft.
Now think about doing experiments to help people back on Earth. You might study the cardiovascular system in space to help understand how we age on Earth.
Canadian science on the Station touches our daily lives in a very real way. Therefore, I am also pleased to announce four new Canadian science experiments will be conducted aboard the ISS this fall. These experiments, led by Canadian universities, will test the effects of weightlessness on the human body and health issues stemming from space travel.
The extension of Canada's participation in the International Space Station through to 2024 means opportunity. It will allow our scientists to continue conducting research that matters to Canadians, and gives our space sector the chance to develop breakthrough technologies that will, in turn, help life on Earth.
Finally, extending our participation in the International Space Station will allow Canadian companies to continue to create important tools and technology that will give doctors and patients here on Earth new ways to understand things like cancer detection, pediatric surgery and neurosurgery.
This of course follows a long list of accomplishments in Space which all Canadians should be proud of:
- Canadarm2 and Dextre will continue to push the boundaries of space robotics. This year alone for example, Canadarm2 will reach out and capture six cargo ships visiting international ports and dock them to the station.
- Canada is working closely with NASA on its Mars Science Laboratory, collecting information that will be essential for the first human explorers on Mars. Today, I am announcing that we are extending this partnership with NASA for two more years.
- NASA's OSIRIS-REX mission will return a piece of an asteroid to Earth. The innovative technology that Canada is building for this mission will help create a 3D map of the asteroid to help scientists choose a site from which to collect a sample.
- We have joined NASA and the European Space Agency on the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be the most powerful telescope ever built. This telescope will observe the most distant objects in the universe, study planets around distant stars and provide images of the first galaxies ever formed.
- And even more recently, our Government announced support for the Thirty-Meter Telescope project. It will be the largest and most powerful earth-telescope ever built and has the potential to transform astronomers' understanding of the universe.
The challenges of space exploration require the very best and brightest that Canada has to offer.
Today is a great day for our country.
To Jeremy and David, on behalf of all Canadians, I look forward to watching your journey over the next decade. You will make us proud.
To the students here today, I encourage to pursue your education in math, sciences, engineering, and learn from greats like Commander Chris Hadfield, Jeremy and David.
Because you are Canada's future in Space.