The Canadian Space Agency Wants to Hear From You!

And we've got a message.

Recently, the Canadian Space Agency announced that they want input on 3 Announcement Opportunities that they plan to release soon, in order to better develop industry capabilities in the space sector. While we support these initiatives, we are also taking this opportunity to make a few other recommendations.

Take a few minutes to send an email with this message template below to <asc.pdts_consultation-stdp_consultation.csa [at] canada.ca> no later than March 17, 2017, and help us advocate for better opportunities for us students!

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E-MAIL SUBJECT:

Potential AOs Suggestions - [ENTER UNIVERSITY AND ORGANIZATION/CHAPTER NAME]

E-MAIL CONTENT:

To whom it may concern,

The students of the [ENTER UNIVERSITY AND ORGANIZATION/CHAPTER NAME] Chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Canada (SEDS-Canada) strongly support the CSA’s STDP initiative. Canadian students graduating from world-class aerospace education programs often have difficulties finding space-related employment in Canada, not for lack of competencies and motivation. The CSA’s potential investment in the Canadian space industry will create further opportunities for Canadian students and provide concrete incentives for graduates to remain in Canada to contribute to the Canadian space sector.

The Priority Technologies presented in the CSA’s February 2017 Letter of Interest list several technologies related to rover and satellite operations, fields in which Canadian students have developed great interest and experience through student projects and international competitions. In particular, the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC) provides multidisciplinary teams of students an invaluable experience in spacecraft design and development. However, since its inaugural competition in 2011, none of the Canadian-designed satellites have yet to be funded for launch. Meanwhile, NASA’s Cubesat Launch Initiative has recently released its 2017 candidate selection for launch between 2018 and 2020, comprising of teams from 34 American universities, high schools and not-for-profit organizations.

As such, it is our recommendation that priority be currently given to small-satellite and rover-related projects among the potential submissions for the recent Announcements of Opportunities. Furthermore, while opportunities offered to the Canadian space industry directly aid future Canadian graduates, space-related funding is lacking for undergraduate and high school students, and academia in general. We recommend that the suspended Awareness and Learning Component of the CSA’s Grant and Contribution Program be reinstated in order to provide funding for space-related initiatives that will directly impact the Canadian youth. We also call on government representatives to support future funding opportunities for students and young graduates on a broader spectrum of space-related fields, including space technologies, human research and life sciences.

Finally, we request that student representatives be invited to CSA Round Table events, to which participation has thus far been limited to government and industry representatives. Events such as these, which are designed to engage the Canadian space community, would benefit greatly from an additional student perspective.

Sincerely,

[ENTER YOUR NAME, TITLE]

[ENTER ORGANIZATION/CHAPTER NAME]