Canadians Share in Envisat's Success

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, March 1, 2002

Saint-Hubert, Quebec, March 1, 2002 -ENVISAT, the European Space Agency's (ESA) most advanced Earth Observation (EO) satellite was launched successfully yesterday. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), a cooperating member of ESA, and Canadian private sector partners, are playing a key role in the success of this project.

"The Canadian participation in ENVISAT is an outstanding example of how successful international partnerships will contribute to ensuring that Canada remains at the forefront of discovery," said Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency. "By expanding and strengthening its expertise and cooperation with the European Space Agency, the CSA is providing momentum in Canada's quest for excellence as a world leader in innovation, and keeping Canadian companies at the cutting edge of new technologies."

Canadian companies, which have been awarded $ 36.7 million in contracts from ESA for the design and construction of ENVISAT, have all developed leading-edge products or services for the space industry. These leaders include ABB Bomem of Quebec City, COM DEV of Cambridge, Ontario, EMS Technologies of Sainte Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) of Richmond, British Columbia, and MPB Technologies oue=" Pointe Claire, Quebec.

The CSA Satellite Operations group supplied Tracking, Telemetry and Control (TT & C) support to the ARIANE 5 rocket from its ground station in Saint-Hubert, and in response to directions received from the Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG) Range Operations Manager in Kourou, French Guiana.

ENVISAT, the follow-on to the earlier EO satellites ERS-1 and ERS-2, will be used extensively by Canadians, together with data provided by our own RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2, to be launched at the end of 2003. RADARSAT-2 will be the first of a next generation of Earth Observation satellites.

In addition to increased expertise and revenues generated by their participation in the ENVISAT project, Canadians will also benefit from the data provided by ENVISAT through 21 projects submitted by Canadian scientists and retained by ESA. These projects cover many applications ranging from studying atmospheric gases and vegetation land cover to monitoring ice flow movement.

On February 12, 2002, the Government of Canada launched Canada's Innovation Strategy, two papers that lay out a plan to address skills and innovation challenges for the next decade. The paper released by Industry Minister Allan Rock, entitled Achieving Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge and Opportunity, proposes goals, targets and priorities for Canada over the next decade to: create knowledge and bring ideas to the market more quickly; ensure a skilled workforce for the new economy; modernize business and regulatory policies; and strengthen communities by supporting innovation at the local level. Today's announcement supports this strategy. For more information about Canada's Innovation Strategy, or to obtain a copy of either Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians or Achieving Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge and Opportunity, please call 1-800-OCANADA (1-800-622-6232) or visit

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.


For more information:

Monique Billette
Media Relations Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: (450) 926-4370

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