Longueuil, Quebec (February 28, 2019) — The Planetary Society, the world’s largest independent space interest organization, praised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement today that the Canadian government will invest more than 2 billion dollars in its space program. The investment includes support for the Lunar Gateway and the development of a new Canadarm and related AI technologies. The Planetary Society and its 50,000 global members have an active role in promoting public support for space exploration in Canada.
“Space unites us,” Bill Nye, CEO, said. “Today we celebrate Canada for increasing its participation in the international effort to understand the cosmos through space exploration. From its brilliant engineers to its talented astronauts, Canada’s contributions to space science and exploration are influential and critical. We at The Planetary Society are honored to have played a role in advising the space program through our representation on the Canadian Space Advisory Board.”
Since 2013, The Planetary Society has advocated for increased investments in the Canadian space program. Kate Howells, National Coordinator for Canada, serves on Canada’s Space Advisory Board where she provides strategic policy advice for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Last year, she and Nye met with Prime Minister Trudeau to discuss the state of Canadian space policy and the need for greater investment.
“Canada has a legacy of leadership in space robotics,” Howells said, “and this investment ensures that we’ll continue that legacy. This is a huge step forward for Canada and will carry us into the future of space exploration along with longstanding international partners, while fostering the next generation of scientists and engineers here at home. I applaud the Government of Canada for making this bold move. It’s now up to Canadians to make sure that this ambitious plan is seen through to fruition regardless of any changes in the political winds.”
In 2018, The Planetary Society rallied thousands of people to contact their Members of Parliament as an official partner of the Don’t Let Go Canada campaign. The result was a remarkable show of public support for Canada’s space program and its potential involvement in the Lunar Gateway program. Without political support from Parliament, the landmark investment announced today would not have been possible. The Planetary Society will continue to engage the Canadian public in support of Canada’s ongoing investments in space science and exploration.
The mandate of the Canadian Space Agency is to promote the peaceful use and development of space, to advance the knowledge of space through science and to ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians. The Canadian Space Agency's mission statement is to lead the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.
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About The Planetary Society
The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. With the mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a longtime member of The Planetary Society's Board, serves as CEO.