OTD: Canadian Space Agency formed

On today’s date in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) was formed as a department under the Canadian Space Agency Act with Larkin Kerwin as the organization’s first president.

The act received royal assent on May 10, 1990, while the Governor-in-Council fixed the effective date as Dec. 14 of that year.

“The objectives of the Canadian Space Program (CSP) are to ensure the development and application of space science and technology to meet Canadian needs and to ensure the development of an international competitive space industry in Canada,” reads a 2006 performance report published by Maxime Bernier, then the minister of industry.


Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada is slated to join a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) project to establish a space station for lunar exploration.

“Canada is going to the moon,” said Trudeau, who made the announcement at CSA headquarters in Montréal.

NASA is aiming to create what it calls a “Lunar Gateway,” which will orbit the moon once it’s fully functional in about 2026.

Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra (left) unveils the latest Canada 150 stamp with astronaut Jeremy Hansen.


In 2017, CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen unveiled Canada Post’s third Canada 150 stamp, this one in celebration of the Canadarm.

Hansen visited Toronto’s Glen Ames Senior Public School to unveil the stamp and meet with Grade 7 and 8 students from the school’s robotics club as they prepared to travel to California to compete in an international robotics competition known organized by the First Lego League. Students competing in the inaugural “Animal Allies” contest were tasked to design, build and program a robot made entirely of Lego to solve a real-world problem. The team came up with the PetPortion, a robot that manages a pet’s weight by automatically giving it the proper amount of food based on its weight and level of daily exercise.

Hansen also addressed the entire school and encouraged the next generation of Canadian innovators to pursue an education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

An official first-day cover was issued with the Canadarm stamp.

In addition to Hadfield, seven Canadian astronauts have flown in space, participating in 16 missions aboard either a space shuttle or on the ISS—Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau, Steve MacLean, Julie Payette, Robert Thirsk, Bjarni Tryggvason and Dave Williams.

For more information about Canada Post’s 10-stamp Canada 150 set, visit canadapost.ca/canada150.

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