New opportunity for Canadian students to build and launch their own satellites
September 20, 2022 – Longueuil, Quebec
Today the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the launch of the CubeSats Initiative in Canada for STEM (CUBICS), a new opportunity for post-secondary professors and students to engage in a real space mission. CUBICS challenges teams to develop projects that help advance scientific knowledge in areas such as climate change. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) plans to award a total of $3.4M in grants to up to 12 teams to design, build and launch an end-to-end CubeSat or develop a standalone scientific instrument or experiment.
Building upon lessons learned from the Canadian CubeSat Project (CCP), the CSA intends to launch a new CUBICS opportunity every three years to continue to stimulate student learning for years to come. CUBICS aims to be more reflective of the needs of new and experienced student teams led by a professor, allowing them to engage in a mission adapted to their level of comfort, expertise and readiness.
CUBICS is one of the CSA's initiatives that aim to equip students with the experience, knowledge and skills to become sought-after candidates for positions in Canada's space sector workforce. CSA experts will guide the teams as they prepare their missions.
"To grow and thrive in the new global market, the Canadian space sector must rely on a steady pool of highly skilled professionals. With CUBICS, students will develop and increase their interest in the space sector while advancing science knowledge in priority areas like climate change. Over the last few years, we have been following the Canadian CubeSat Project with great interest, and it is with immense pride that we unveil this exciting new chapter full of promises."
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
A CubeSat is a tiny, cube-shaped satellite measuring 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm that can be used for technology demonstrations, science, educational projects or commercial purposes. A CubeSat can be used alone (1 unit) or in stacks of multiple units.
Two funding categories are offered to ensure that CUBICS is more accessible for new teams, while still providing stimulating challenges for experienced teams: developing a standalone scientific instrument or experiment (Stream 1) or an end-to-end CubeSat (Stream 2).
Participating teams have to include a meaningful plan to foster recruitment and engagement of members from underrepresented groups, in particular women and Indigenous peoples.
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