OTTAWA – The Harper government has made a commitment to extend Canada’s participation in the International Space Station mission for another four years — until 2024.
The announcement was included in Tuesday’s federal budget. The United States and Russia have already announced their continued support until 2024.
But the space station’s other key partners, the European Space Agency and JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, have not yet committed themselves beyond 2020.
The federal budget also provides an additional $30 million over four years, starting in 2016–17, to support cutting-edge research and technology development in Canada’s satellite communications sector.
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, which represents over 700 of Canada’s aerospace companies, praised the budget for providing what it called essential funding for the Canadian Space Agency.
President Jim Quick says in a statement that the measures are another step as the association continues to work with the government on a long term vision for Canada’s future in space.
The aerospace industry is responsible for the employment of 172,000 Canadians.