The pathetic Canadian Space Agency

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Read about the CSA's plans for the next few years here. Canada's space agency is not pathetic through any fault of its own, but simply because of a lack of funding and popular support from a country that seems to be content with it having the most minor of roles in the exploration of space.

Funding has reached an all-time high of $424.6 million, an amount just about enough to fund one small NASA mission. And on top of that, it will then drop by 34% over the following two years - first to $371.1 million, and then $317.5 million.

Let's compare.

US GDP / Canada GDP = 9.3 times

NASA budget ($17.6 billion) / CSA budget = 41.5 times

NASA 2013 budget ($20 billion) / CSA 2013 budget = 63 times

The plan detailed in the link is both detailed and vague, with some objectives laid out for the next few years with the tiny budget but a lot of fluff, like "well-managed and efficient government operations", and "an innovative and knowledge-based oconomy". The CSA's contribution to the James Webb Space Telescope is one of the best uses of its funding, and so let's just hope that the launch goes without a hitch. In the meantime there is a lot of news being made by other countries so luckily nothing really major is riding on the fate of the CSA. It's just too bad that it is not given the tools to really make a difference when the country has had more than enough economic leeway to do so, aside from the past few years - and even then the national debt truly is low compared to most of its peers.


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