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Over the Horizon: A New Era for Canada-U.S. Space Cooperation?

The Canada Institute convened a high-level strategic policy dialogue, as U.S. and Canadian officials and representatives from communications, robotics, and aerospace companies addressed civilian and military space, emerging threats, and new technologies. Experts also examined how government and industry can work together on principles, norms, and institutions that will ensure responsible human activity in a changing space domain.

Date & Time

Friday
Sep. 7, 2018
8:00am – 3:45pm ET

Location

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Over the Horizon: A New Era for Canada-U.S. Space Cooperation?

 

 

 The Trump administration has revived the National Space Council with an ambitious agenda and a commercial focus, and private entrepreneurs are forging a new paradigm. Canada has the opportunity to leverage over half a century of Canadian Space Agency-NASA cooperation to play a larger role in outer space policy in the new era.

 

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The Canada Institute convened a high-level strategic policy dialogue, as U.S. and Canadian officials and representatives from communications, robotics, and aerospace companies addressed civilian and military space, emerging threats, and new technologies. Experts also examined how government and industry can work together on principles, norms, and institutions that will ensure responsible human activity in a changing space domain. 

Selected Quotes

Jim Bridenstine:
  • “We have [had] almost 500 agreements in our history, and today, we have agreements on 46 projects currently under way between the United States and Canada. What a great relationship for a such a long period of time that has been important for science and for the entire planet. What NASA has done with the Canadian Space Agency has been fantastic.”
  • “We’re going to go [to the moon] differently than we’ve ever gone before; we’re going to go sustainably… What we want to do is establish a continual opportunity to go back and forth, utilize the resources of the moon, and do it in a way that is sustainable. With Canada by our side, we’re going to be able to achieve those very impressive capabilities, and I look forward to a very robust future.”
  • “The timing signal from GPS is required for every banking transaction. It’s required for… terrestrial wireless networks – for example, cellphones. It’s required for the flows of electricity on the power grid. So, if we lose those capabilities, it is an existential threat to the United States of America… The potential adversaries of the United States have looked at space and declared it ‘the American Achilles heel’ because they know that if it is destroyed, it will wreck the United States of America.”
  • “What we have to do as a country… is make it such that the potential adversaries of the United States look at space and they see that there’s no possible way they’re going to get an advantage by destroying it. If we can do that, then we can preserve space for generations to come and improve the human condition for everybody on the globe. But if we neglect our responsibility to make sure that space is secure, then it will be a vulnerability – and that, in itself, is provocative.”
Sylvain Laporte:
  • “We consider this relationship to be a very, very good illustration of how two countries can collaborate successfully. Despite any kind of anxieties that may have traversed over time, over the past few decades, we can always look back to space and say, ‘You know what? Despite some of our differences, either between us or with other nations, we’ve always found a way to cooperate and to work properly in space.”
  • “When it comes to the global space sector, economy, technology, and science are coming together as never before. This is a result of both a strategic move by government – the U.S. being very influential in leading the way – but also, an organic move, where more and more countries have understood the value of iunvesting in space. Just over a decade ago, in 2006, 47 were investing in the space sector. Today, there are over 70.”
  • “[Government and the private sector] are not in competition. In fact, throughout the history of space discoveries and space innovation, governments have always collaborated with universities and with industry. What we have now is a dialing-up of that… I see it as a great opportunity. It’s up to us in government to make sure that as we go further – because we all share a mandate of developing our national economies as well – that we leverage every possible opportunity that we can have to adapt our business models to innovate in a way that we push the envelope of cooperation further.”
Dr. Scott Pace:
  • “We’re glad to have the Canadian government’s commitment for extending the existing ISS government-run model through 2024… Between now and then, the U.S. is looking forward to working with Canada to plan for a transition from this current model to a more commercially active low-earth orbit with more opportunities for the private sector and continuing government research in low-earth orbit. So, we’re not abandoning low-earth orbit, but I think it’s time for us to be thinking about what comes after the Space Station.”
  • “I think that space is rather special. Again, I would never take anything off the table for other trade discussions, but I think that the importance of space – our mutual interests there – is right now undisturbed.”
  • “A lot of what I think the Space Force needs to accomplish is change of perspective about the importance that space has at a higher level and trying to make sure that it gets the resources and people that the current threat environment demands of it. So the goal is – I know this may be disappointing to people: it’s not to build some exotic science-fiction capability – it’s really to advance U.S. and allied national security.”

    Event Agenda

    8:15 – 8:45 a.m.  Welcome and Opening Keynote Address   
    • Jane Harman – President and CEO, Wilson Center
    • Jim Bridenstine – Administrator, NASA
    8:45 – 9:30 a.m. Canadian Keynote Address
    • Sylvain Laporte – President, Canadian Space Agency  
    • Introduced by William “Mac” Evans – Canada Space Advisory Board
    9:30 – 10:45 a.m. Panel 1: Civil Space: Communications, Earth Observation, Scientific Research  
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Panel 2: Military and Security Space
    12:00 – 1:20 p.m. 
    • Luncheon Keynote:  Dr. Scott Pace, Executive Director, U.S. National Space Council - “U.S.-Canadian Space Cooperation – A Whole of Government Approach”* 
    • Moderators:  Luiza Savage, Executive Director, POLITICO Pro-Canada and Jacqueline Klimas, POLITICO-Space
    1:30 – 2:45 p.m. Panel 3: The New Commercial Space Age
    2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Panel 4: Policy Challenges and Principles in the New Space Paradigm: Who and How to Manage Human Activity in Space?    
    3:45 – 3:50 p.m. Concluding Comments

    Speakers

    William MacDonald (Mac) Evans

    William MacDonald (Mac) Evans

    Former President, Canada Space Agency
    Dr. Stephen Volz

    Dr. Stephen Volz

    Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    Michael Byers

    Michael Byers

    Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, University of British Columbia
    Michael Pley

    Michael Pley

    Pley Consulting Inc. and Chair of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada's Space Committee
    Don Brown

    Don Brown

    General Manager, Government Services, Telesat
    Brigadier General Kevin Whale

    Brigadier General Kevin Whale

    Director General and Component Commander – Space, Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Armed Forces
    Shawn J. Barnes

    Shawn J. Barnes

    Assistant Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command United States Air Force
    Matthew J. Desch

    Matthew J. Desch

    Chief Executive Officer, Iridium Communications, Inc
    Eric Stallmer

    Eric Stallmer

    President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation
    Richard DalBello

    Richard DalBello

    Business Development and Governmental Affairs, Virgin Orbit
    Christian Sallaberger

    Christian Sallaberger

    President and CEO, Canadensys Aerospace
    Marcy Steinke

    Marcy Steinke

    SVP, Government Relations and Public Policy, Maxar Technologies
    Dr. Marie-Lucy Stojak

    Dr. Marie-Lucy Stojak

    Chair, Canada Space Advisory Board
    Kenneth Hodgkins

    Kenneth Hodgkins

    Director for the Office of Space and Advanced Technology, Department of State
    Victoria Samson

    Victoria Samson

    Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation
    James Uthmeier

    James Uthmeier

    Counsel to the Office of Secretary Wilbur Ross and Special Advisor to the Secretary for Space
    Charity Weeden

    Charity Weeden

    President, LQuinox Consulting
    Luiza Savage

    Luiza Savage

    Executive Director, POLITICO Pro-Canada
    Valerie Insinna

    Valerie Insinna

    Air Warfare Reporter, Defense News
    Jaqueline Klimas

    Jaqueline Klimas

    Co-Author, POLITICO Space
    Christian Davenport

    Christian Davenport

    Former Public Policy Fellow;
    Staff Writer at The Washington Post, covering the defense and space industries for the financial desk
    Dr. Henry Hertzfeld

    Dr. Henry Hertzfeld

    Director, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University

    Hosted By

    Canada Institute

    Bound by common geopolitical interests and strong economic and cultural ties, Canada and the United States enjoy the world's most successful bilateral relationship. The Wilson Center's Canada Institute is the only public policy forum in the world dedicated to the full spectrum of Canada-U.S. issues. The Canada Institute is a global leader for policymakers, academics and business leaders to engage in non-partisan, informed dialogue about the current and future state of the relationship.     Read more

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