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Canada's Space Community Supports International Tsunami Relief Efforts

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2005

Longueuil, Quebec, January 13, 2005 - Canada's Space community is collaborating with space nations to provide satellite images critical to rescue and humanitarian efforts. Images taken before and after south Asia's devastating earthquake and tsunami on December 26 clearly show the consequences that have claimed over 150,000 lives and ravaged coastlines in several countries.

"Canada's RADARSAT images are providing critical data to emergency rescue and humanitarian agencies to help them better assess the impact of the tsunami and speed relief to those most in need. Through participation in the International Charter, Canada has dedicated RADARSAT and expertise in service to humanity," said Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Marc Garneau.

The CSA's role as coordinator of the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters, is to manage the dispatch of satellites to capture images of coastal areas of countries affected by the Asian tsunami. The Charter brings together space agencies who wish to provide ready and immediate access to Earth observation data to countries and organizations that are responding to major disasters. Current members include the European, French, Canadian, and Argentinian space agencies as well as the Indian Space Research Organization, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Canadian space industry partners have also made a substantial contribution to Canada's support of the relief efforts. RADARSAT International of Richmond, B.C. has expedited comparative RADARSAT images, and Dendron of Ottawa, has compiled and developed satellite images that clearly demonstrate the impact of the disaster.

To date, 24 RADARSAT images have been provided to disaster charter activations. To view these, please visit the CSA website at http://www.space.gc.ca. Images provided by all nations in support of the tsunami disaster relief effort may be viewed on the International Charter website at http://www.disasterscharter.org.

For more information:

Julie Simard
Communications Advisor
Media relations and Information Services
Canadian Space Agency
(450) 926-6651
julie.simard@space.gc.ca

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