SME recently organized a members visit to the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) John H. Chapman Space Centre. Located in Longueil QC our host was Mr. Mario Ciaramicoli. An Operations Engineer, his main responsibilities are mission planning and robotics instruction and he thoughtfully guided our group throughout the complex. Formed to create a central place to meet and work on Canadian space initiatives, the CSA has constructed and launched a series of new projects into orbit from Montreal’s south shore. One of the most important is Canadarm which is used on the International Space Station (ISS). Canadarm2 along with Dextre images can be found on the Canadian five-dollar note.
Thinking back 50+ years ago and the cornerstone of Canadian satellite projects like the Alouette, at that time there was no experience developing satellites. Much work was needed to think of and counter all the difficulties they would face in the harsh environment of space. Also joining us was Ms. Marie-Josee Potvin, Structural Engineer at the CSA. She reviewed materials with specific examples which gave us all a better appreciation for all of the many challenges posed to the business of space. Her presentation dovetailed very nicely with topics relevant to SME: advanced materials and an eye towards a lean approach to operational and manufacturing processes. Both exposés made for an enriching experience and a heightened understanding of Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station and the next frontiers of exploration.
In the words of one of Canada’s space pioneers:
"In the second century of Confederation, the fabric of Canadian society will be held together by strands in space just as strongly as railway and telegraphy held together the scattered provinces in the last century."
- John H. Chapman
The CSA is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development.
@csa_asc @DemandezaISDE @MDA_SatSystems @NASA @SME_MFG