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."