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Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute

Institut aéronautique et spatial du Canada


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  • August 12, 2019 2:14 PM | Todd Legault (Administrator)

    A new type of nuclear reactor designed to power crewed outposts on the moon and Mars could be ready for its first in-space trial just a few years from now, project team members said.

    A flight test is the next big step for the Kilopower experimental fission reactor, which aced a series of critical ground tests from November 2017 through March 2018. No off-Earth demonstration is on the books yet, but Kilopower should be ready to go by 2022 or so if need be, said Patrick McClure, Kilopower project lead at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

    "I think we could do this in three years and be ready for flight," McClure said late last month during a presentation with NASA's Future In-Space Operations working group.

    Read full story...

  • August 06, 2019 9:43 AM | Todd Legault (Administrator)

    Scientists, engineers and curious individuals alike will be able to get a feel for student group Space Concordia this month.

    The university’s immersive exhibition venue, 4TH SPACE, will host an event showcasing student projects from August 12 to 22.

    “Space Concordia has always been about engaging the public. We’re inspired when we inspire others,” says the society’s president, Hannah Jack Halcro.

    Less than a month after the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing, the projects featured at SPACELAB: Space Concordia Summer Garage will turn the spotlight onto student achievements and ongoing projects in areas like satellite, rocket and rover engineering, space sciences and other future endeavours.


  • June 28, 2019 10:27 AM | Todd Legault (Administrator)

    Images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) are not only helping planners with future human missions to the moon, but they are also revealing new information about the moon's evolution and structure.

    A new NASA video, posted on YouTube, features more than half a dozen locations of interest in stunning 4K resolution, much of it courtesy of LRO data. NASA also highlighted the individual sites in a Tumblr post that delves deeper into their geology, morphology and significance.

    LRO has been circling the moon since 2009 and has made a range of discoveries at Earth's closest large celestial neighbor.

    Read the full story on Space.com...

  • June 20, 2019 2:25 PM | April Duffy (Administrator)

    Anytime you get to announce that you’re returning to Earth, you have a pretty cool job.  

    It’s just another classic, “Honey, I’m coming home from work” scenario. Except you know, from outer space.

    David Saint-Jacques return will mark the end of a 204-day mission, making it the longest space mission ever conducted by a Canadian astronaut, according to the CSA.

    For the record, fellow Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield spent 166 days in outer space. 

    Further Reading (Daily Hive)

  • April 24, 2019 2:30 PM | Todd Legault (Administrator)

    Dr. Jacques Giroux, president of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute for 2018‐19, has announced the recipients of the 2019 CASI Senior Awards.

    The Awards and the recipients are:

    1. The Trans‐Canada (McKee) TrophyColonel (ret) Don Matthews

    2. CASI McCurdy Award - Mr. Stephen McCullough, Bombardier Aerospace

    3. CASI C.D. Howe Award - Mr. Rob Dewar, Bombardier Aerospace

    4. CASI Roméo Vachon Award - Mr. Jean‐Marc Leclerc, Bombardier Aerospace

    5. CASI Alouette Award - M Frédéric Pelletier, KinetX Aerospace Inc.

    Presentation of the CASI McCurdy Award, the CASI C.D. Howe Award and the CASI

    Roméo Vachon Award will be made during the Gala Dinner on the evening of

    Wednesday 15 May as part of the CASI AERO 2019 conference in Laval, Quebec.

    Presentation of the Trans‐Canada (McKee) Trophy will be made at the Air Force Museum of Alberta, Calgary AB on May 5, 2019.

    Presentation of the 2019 CASI Alouette Award will be made at a time and place TBC.

    Read the full Press Release for full information

  • April 08, 2019 1:41 PM | Todd Legault (Administrator)

    Astronomers orchestrated radio dish telescopes across the world into an Earth-size virtual camera for a bold new experiment attempting to deliver the first-ever image of a black hole. The telescope collaboration is set to make a big announcement of results this week, and members also described their research approach at a talk in March.

    Black holes are extreme warps in space-time that are so strong, their massive gravity doesn't even let light escape once it gets close enough.

    The astronomers' idea is to photograph the circular opaque silhouette of a black hole cast on a bright background. The shadow's edge is the event horizon, a black hole's point of no return. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a photograph of a black hole would be an important tool for understanding astrophysics, cosmology and the role of black holes in the universe.

    Read Full Story on Space.com 

  • April 01, 2019 10:04 AM | Todd Legault (Administrator)

    TORONTO, March 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) has been awarded the prime contract to develop the next generation cluster of formation-flying microsatellites for HawkEye 360 Inc. of Herndon, Va. The HawkEye Constellation, comprised of multiple clusters of three satellites each, is the first of its kind to detect and geolocate radio frequency (RF) signals for maritime, emergency response, and spectrum analysis applications.

    SFL built the platforms and integrated the HawkEye 360 Pathfinder cluster which was launched into low-Earth orbit in December 2018 and commissioned early this year. The three formation-flying Pathfinder microsatellites have successfully demonstrated geolocation of VHF, emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), automatic identification system (AIS) and marine radar signals.

    “Through the development, launch and commissioning of our Pathfinder cluster, SFL demonstrated exceptional ability to deliver the solution we required,” said HawkEye 360 Founder and Chief Technology Officer Chris DeMay. “Their customer-first approach and engineering prowess resulted in the first-of-its-kind RF analytics we are generating today. We are proud to continue partnering with SFL on the development of our next set of spacecraft as we expand on-orbit capacity and enhance our capability to meet customer demands.”

    SFL is developing the next-generation cluster to service more sophisticated payloads as HawkEye 360 broadens its detection and geolocation capabilities. The cluster will incorporate SFL technologies that make on-orbit formation flying possible. Most prominent of these technologies is the high-performance attitude control system developed by SFL to keep micro- and nanosatellites stable in orbit.

    “The microsatellite bus selected by HawkEye 360 for the next-gen cluster is one we developed specifically to address the economics of commercial space activities,” said SFL Director Dr. Robert E. Zee.

    SFL satellite technology was selected for the HawkEye 360 Pathfinder mission due to the importance of formation flying by multiple satellites for successful RF signal geolocation and analysis. The relative positions of each satellite in the constellation must be known to accurately geolocate the transmission sources of the radio frequency signals. SFL first demonstrated affordable on-orbit formation control with smaller satellites in the 2014 Canadian CanX-4/CanX-5 mission.

    “We have developed compact, low-cost formation flying technology for commercial exploitation that is unmatched by any other satellite developer,” said Zee.

    Established in 1998 as a self-sustaining specialty lab at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), SFL has built 25 nano- and microsatellites with nearly 100 cumulative years of successful operation in orbit to date.

    About Space Flight Laboratory (www.utias-sfl.net)

    SFL generates bigger returns from smaller, lower cost satellites. Small satellites built by SFL consistently push the performance envelope and disrupt the traditional cost paradigm. Satellites are built with advanced power systems, stringent attitude control and high-volume data capacity that are striking relative to the budget. SFL arranges launches globally and maintains a mission control center accessing ground stations worldwide. The pioneering and barrier breaking work of SFL is a key enabler to tomorrow’s cost aggressive satellite constellations. (www.utias-sfl.net)

    Follow SFL on Twitter @SFL_SmallerSats.

    About HawkEye 360

    HawkEye 360 is a Radio Frequency (RF) data analytics company. We operate a first-of-its-kind commercial satellite constellation to identify, process, and geolocate a broad set of RF signals. We extract value from this unique data through proprietary algorithms, fusing it with other sources to create powerful analytical products that solve hard challenges for our global customers. Our products include maritime domain awareness and spectrum mapping and monitoring; our customers include a wide range of commercial, government and international entities. (www.he360.com)


    Dr. Robert E. Zee

    SFL Director



    Adam Bennett

    Product Marketing Director

    HawkEye 360 Inc.


    +1 (571) 203-0360

  • March 19, 2019 12:52 PM | Todd Legault (Administrator)

    Located above a strip of Spadina Avenue populated by nail salons, currency exchange vendors and a leather supply store, the fourth-floor office of Kepler Communications looks like that of any other tech startup – exposed heating ducts, open concept layout, a large conference table for meetings.

    That is, until you spot the control room.

    Inside the glass walls, an operator stares at a bank of six large computer screens that display data from Kepler’s tiny communications satellites as they streak overhead, from pole to pole, at an altitude of about 600 kilometres. Above his head are four clocks displaying the local times of Kepler’s ground-based antennae in Markham, Ont., Inuvik, N.W.T., and Svalbard, Norway, as well as co-ordinated universal time or UTC.

    Read the full story on U of T website...

  • March 01, 2019 11:26 AM | Todd Legault (Administrator)

    Saint-Hubert, Quebec - February 28, 2019

    From pioneering satellite communications technologies to building the ‘Canadarm’ and space-based radar systems, Canada has made key contributions to space science and technology for close to six decades. Investing in science, innovation, and research unlocks new opportunities for economic growth, creates thousands of jobs for hard-working Canadians, and helps us understand the world we live in and our place in it.

    Fifty years after the Moon landing, space exploration is entering a new chapter – and Canada will play a big role in it. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced Canada’s new partnership in the NASA-led Lunar Gateway – a project that will see humans return to the Moon and set the stage for further exploration to Mars.

    The Gateway is a Moon outpost that will provide living space for astronauts, a docking station for visiting spacecraft, and laboratories for research. Canada will develop and contribute a smart robotic system – Canadarm3 – that will repair and maintain the Gateway.

    Canada’s partnership in the Gateway ushers in a new era of Canadian excellence in space, and will be the cornerstone of Canada’s new, ambitious space strategy. The Government of Canada will invest $2.05 billion over 24 years for Canada’s space program. This investment will create hundreds of good, well-paying jobs over the next ten years – from scientists and engineers to technicians and computer programmers – and will contribute $100 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product.

    Read Full Story

  • February 15, 2019 12:30 PM | April Duffy (Administrator)

    The Canadian Space Agency says it wants to hire ex-astronaut Dave Williams to help figure out how to get humans to Mars and back in one piece.

    But if you're also a medical doctor who's been to space and you think you can do a better job, please let the agency know.

    Williams is a doctor with experience on both the shuttle and International Space Station. The space agency posted plans Wednesday saying he will help them connect with medical experts and develop health-care solutions for future astronauts.

    "The CSA is hoping to be able to … leverage the expertise that we have in space medicine to create the next generation of on-board care capabilities for deep space exploration," Williams told The Canadian Press. Read more at thespec.com.

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