Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Lifestyles
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canada's space industry faces challenges penetrating global markets: study

In this Tuesday, July 12, 2011 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Ron Garan rides on the International Space Station's robotic arm as he transfers a failed pump module to the cargo bay of space shuttle Atlantis. A new study says Canada has experienced a small bounce in its space competitiveness and retains a skilled workforce but is still facing future challenges. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NASA

Enlarge Image

In this Tuesday, July 12, 2011 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Ron Garan rides on the International Space Station's robotic arm as he transfers a failed pump module to the cargo bay of space shuttle Atlantis. A new study says Canada has experienced a small bounce in its space competitiveness and retains a skilled workforce but is still facing future challenges. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NASA

MONTREAL - A new study says Canada has experienced a small bounce in its space competitiveness and retains a skilled workforce but is still facing future challenges.

The observation was made by U.S.-based space forecaster Futron Corporation in its 2014 space competitiveness index.

Futron director David Vaccaro says Canada generally has had a very good year and made advancements against all other countries except Russia, Europe and South Korea.

"If you can picture a race where there are 15 runners running and they are all in motion, it just means that Canada was running faster than 12 countries, but not running as fast as three countries," he said in an interview.

Futron, based in Bethesda, Md., collects data for the 15 leading space industry players, including Canada.

Vaccaro also said Canadian companies still haven't penetrated international markets to the extent they can.

"They don't necessarily turn up in the European markets or the emerging Asian markets or for that matter in some unlikely markets like South America and Africa," he said.

"I think those are markets Canada could play well in."

Industry spokesman Chuck Black said he doesn't believe the Canadian Space Agency will play any significant role in generating future business, adding it's simply become a facilitator.

"The future of the space industry in Canada are bilateral agreements between small organizations, between companies, between universities and the international market," he said in an interview.

"I don't think a lot of it will go through the Canadian Space Agency."

An official at the space agency said there would be no response to the Futron report.

Black, the director of the Canadian Space Commerce Association, also said he doesn't expect the CSA to get any additional funding from the federal government in the foreseeable future.

"Frankly the $300 million a year they get, at this point, it keeps the lights on at its headquarters," he added.

Black's organization is an industry group that represents about 40 small and large space companies in Canada.

Futron's Vaccaro agreed with Black that the bigger question is the fate of long-term space funding in Canada.

In its seventh annual report, Futron also questions whether increased levels of funding for Canada's RADARSAT Constellation Mission are sustainable.

The final development costs for the Canadian Space Agency-led project have already jumped to more than $1 billion from $600 million.

The $1 billion includes a $706-million contract that was signed with Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA) in January 2013 to build the three satellites, launch them in 2018 and operate them for the first year.

In Futron's space competitiveness index, the United States remains the leader, but it is the only nation to decline for seven straight years.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media