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Dr. Marc Garneau.
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Space: a very Canadian frontier

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Set your phasers to stunned. A different type of space geek graced Alberta's soil as Dr. Marc Garneau talked about Canada's space program on Wed., Jan. 22 at the U of C.

With relatively limited funding for the Canadian space program, Canadian scientists are forced to piggyback onto shuttles and satellites of larger space-faring nations. Regardless, we are still very much involved in space research.

"As we speak there are two Canadians orbiting the earth on an American shuttle," said Dr. Garneau, a three time Canadian space explorer. "They are studying the effects of space on bone density as well as the growth of a certain kind of protein."

Much of Canada's space research is conducted on foreign satellites through international cooperation---they provide the space, we share our research.

Calgary has an important role in Canada's space research, said Dr. Garneau.

"The U of C has a world class research program which connects with global navigation systems including GPS. The Canadian Space Agency will continue to work closely with the U of C."

While most of Dr. Garneau's lecture surrounded technical jargon and the specifics of the Canadian Space Agency, an interesting point about Canadian policy was raised.

In response to a question from an audience member regarding the weaponization of space, Dr. Garneau said Canada's role in space should be peaceful.

"We as Canadians believe in using space for scientific purposes--most space faring countries have this in common," said Dr. Garneau. "The American administration, however, has recently been discussing the weaponization of space--the Canadian government is strongly opposed to this."

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This article contains one very significant mistake - there are NOT two Canadians aboard the space shuttle! There are two Canadian space EXPERIMENTS on the shuttle right now.

Mark