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Did you know

Contributed by Andrew Gibson, CSA Space Science & Technology

Canada developed the first space instrument to monitor global distribution of Carbon Monoxide (CO), which is a pollutant and an important player in the chemistry of the atmosphere. This instrument called MOPITT (Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere - the lowest section of our atmosphere at about 12km) is clearly demonstrating how pollution can be transported from continent to continent. Carbon Monoxide is produced by both man-made (anthropogenic) sources and natural sources (like forest-fires), generally as a product of combustion. MOPITT is also measuring methane levels in the troposphere. All of this data will help us to make more responsible decisions in areas ranging from technology to politics. To find out more...

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Stars don't twinkle?

The flickering light that we see in the night sky is caused by variations in density of the Earth's atmosphere. These variations are caused by naturally varying temperatures and composition of the atmosphere at different altitudes and also by winds.

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Canada is the BEST country in the world from which to view the Northern Lights!

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a result of the interaction of particles from the Sun with the magnetic field of Earth. These substances react and release their newly found energy in the form of red, green and blue light. While the Northern Lights can sometimes be seen as far south as the United States, the closer you get to the Earth's magnetic pole, the better your view will be. In both its proximity to the North Pole and its very low levels of light pollution, northern Canada provides a spectacular view of this breathtaking natural phenomenon! Click here:

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Science satellites: Mapping the atmosphere

SCISAT provides unique data on atmospheric changes due to natural causes or human activity.

OSIRIS AND SCISAT are providing accurate information on ozone depletion quickly and efficiently.

OSIRIS performs a CAT scan of the horizon. Much faster than other instruments that measure atmospheric gases, it's revolutionizing our understanding of pollutants that contribute to ozone depletion.

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MOPITT: Measuring pollution changes

Wood-burning fireplaces are a major cause of winter smog.

This detailed information is essential for policymakers in their evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of anti-pollution initiatives.

Scientists use a Canadian space instrument to create global 3-D maps of carbon monoxide levels in the lower atmosphere and pinpoint pollution sources.

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RADARSAT: High, but not dry

Satellites are helping field geologists find and manage precious water resources.

Satellites observe much larger areas than aerial photopgraphs and provide information at a much lower cost than ground surveys.

Images from Canada's RADARSAT are helping to map our aquifers so we can preserve these valuable and renewable groundwater reserves.

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RADARSAT: Space-age farming

Satellites help farmers determine when to fertilize, generating cost savings and protecting our environment.

Images from Canada's RADARSAT are reducing insurance premiums by helping farmers and insurance companies accurately determine crops lost due to weather conditions.

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RADARSAT: Tracking oil spills at sea

More than 300,000 oil-covered seabirds die each year off the Atlantic Coast of Canada

Around-the-clock space surveillance is helping to protect Canada's marine environment.

Day, night, and in all weather conditions, Canada's RADARSAT is tracking vessels that illegaly dump bilge oil in Canadian waters.

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RADARSAT: Managing park ecosystems

Parks Canada is using satellite images to chart the health and diversity of our national parks.

Satellites provide clear, reliable data for the long-term management of our national parks at a reasonable cost.

Images taken from space will give Canadians a new perspective on their national park system and the diversity of wildlife, increasing interest in our heritage areas.

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Canada in space: Supporting global humanitarian efforts

Canada's RADARSAT provided images to help evaluate the damage caused by the Asian tsunami in December 2004.

International partnerships support humanitarian efforts - a cornerstone of the Canadian Space Program.

As a commited partner, Canada collaborates with other spacefaring nations, contributing satellite images and expertise to save lives, dispatch aid, and rebuild communities.

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Batteries for a wireless world

Canada is developing next-generation batteries for the International Space Station.

Electrovaya's lithium-ion SuperPolymer battery provides several times the run-time of a typical rechargeable battery.

When Canadian Space Agency astronaut Steve MacLean and his international colleagues step into space, Canadian lithium ion batteries will power their critical life-support systems.

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OSTEO: Space research on bone loss

While in space, astronauts lose bone mass 10 times faster than patients suffering from severe osteoporosis here on Earth.

With an aging population, osteoporosis is one of the major health challenges of our time.

As the body ages, bone mass decreases faster than it can be replenished. New space research is helping to find ways to prevent bone loss.

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Canada's world-renowned space robotics

On Earth, Canadarm2 cannot support its own 1.8-tonne weight, but in space, it can deftly manipulate the 116-tonne fully loaded Shuttle.

Canadarm2 on the International Space Station can be operated from Mission Control Centres in Houston, Moscow, and Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec.

Following the success of Canadarm on the Space Shuttle in 1981, Canadian engineers designated a new generation of space robotics for the International Space Station.

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EVARM: Measuring radiation exposure

A Canadian device is measuring the radiation astronauts are exposed to during spacewalks.

The radiation dosimeter and its reader were designed by Thomson Nielsen of Ottawa. Nine NASA astronauts took part in the year-long EVARM space experiment.

The technology that helps doctors monitor the amount of radiation patients receive during treatment is helping to make human space exploration safer.

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Greenhouse for the red planet

A greenhouse in Canada's Arctic is demonstrating ways to produce food for humans on Mars.

Researchers are conducting experiments in the extreme environment of Canada's Arctic in biology, remote robotics, and other technologies for interplanetary exploration.

The ability to sustain human life on the Moon or Mars may depend on technologies and approaches being tested in Canada's high Arctic.

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Space robotics deliver down-to-earth benefits

Space-age fabrics and robotics are changing the way Canadians do their jobs.

The transfer of space technology for use on Earth is improving the quality of our lives and transforming the way we work and interact.

Canada's world renowned space technologies improve our quality of life when used to enhance safety, automate manufacturing, and advance leading-edge health care.

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MOST: Canada's astronomical contribution

Canadian astronomers using MOST, a suitcase-sized Canadian space telescope, are looking at stars in a whole new way.

Canada's MOST space telescope is challenging long-accepted notions about the behaviour of certain stars.

Canada's "humble" space telescope is breaking new scientific ground. It's challenging long-held assumptions about the nature and age of stars.

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Space vision: Ensuring safety in orbit

Canadian space vision technology inspects the Space Shuttle and will play a key role when Hubble comes crashing to Earth.

Canadian laser camera technolgy won the confidence of NASA for the Shuttle's Return to Flight in 2005 and future missions.

Canada's space vision system incorporates intelligent 3-D sensors to help guide, track, and inspect objects with keen precision in space - and now, on the ground.

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Canadian innovation: Global Positioning Systems and beyond

The Golbal Positioning System pilots fly more direct routes to their destination, reducing fuel costs and increasing safety.

Canadian companies are a driving force in the development of innovative uses for GPS.

Some GPS transmitters keep our skies safe, some help us find our way, and others help the transportation industry track cargo.

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Improving health care

Satellites can bring quality interactive health-care services to patients living far from clinics and care facilities.

The first demonstration of the Canadian-developed remote patient diagnosis and monitoring system took place on the international stage with a satellite link between Italy and the Netherlands.

Canadian telecommunications innovation is bridging the distance, delivering cost-effective health care to citizens in rural and remote communities.

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Communications satellites: Emergency response

Advances in satellite technology has saved more than 18,000 lives over the past 25 years in search and rescue operations worldwide.

Canada's role in search and rescue operations around the world is commemorated in a stamp issued on June 13, 2005, by Canada Post.

A stranded snowmobiler, a fishing boat adrift in high seas, a plane crash in the wilderness - distress signals received in space have saved thousands of lives.

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Antennas for in-flight communications

A Canadian company with roots that go back to the first trans-Atlantic wireless signal is now a global electronics and telecommunications leader.

The CMA-2102 Satcom antenna is linking air travellers, wherever they fly, with a full range of wireless satellite services.

The in-flight communication technology for passengers that once seemed impossibly futuristic will soon connect passengers with the Web and videoconferences.

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Real-time disaster management

Satellites are directing forest firefighters, helping save lives, protect property, and preserve our natural resources.

British Columbia has adopted REMSAT for its forest firefighting operations and will deploy it in all regions within the next few years.

By combining information provided by space satellites, mobile dispatchers can quickly move their rescue crews, firefighting teams, and equipment to where they are most needed.

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Space communications

It takes 50 minutes for a message to reach a spacecraft 900 million kilometres away from Earth.

Canada's space industry in 2004: over 200 companies, employing more than 7,500 skilled workers, generating more than $2.4 billion annually - nearly half from exports.

Canada's world-renowned space companies, technology, and expertise bring over 40 years of experience to support planetary exploration missions.

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ANIK F2: Connecting communities

Canada has extended its global telecommunications leadership with the launch of its largest and most powerful commercial satellite.

From space, ANIK F2 has the potential to link the last kilometre, enabling all Canadians, wherever they live, to take their part in our expanding knowledge-based economy.

Telesat's ANIK F2 satellite can provide interactive, high-speed services such as telehealth and distance education, to link Canadians in remote communities with the world.

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Canada and space: Leveraging international partners

Canada has been an active cooperating member of the European Space Agency for more than 25 years.

Canada's outstanding space partnerships enhance our technological and scientific expertise, opening markets for industry and creating opportunities for Canadians.

Like a bridge across the Atlantic, Canada's membership in the European Space Agency has delivered contracts worth over $240 million to Canadian space companies.

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Beaming scientists into classrooms

Satellites are connecting some of Canada's top scientists with students and teachers in communities across the nation.

Space has the power and potential to ignite a passion for learning and thus increase the science literacy of Canadian students.

The Space Learning Program links scientists with students, to inspire them to learn and take their place as members of Canada's next space generation.

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Canada's space visionaries: Seeing 20/20

Over 40 years ago, Canadian space pioneers shaped the future of Canada in space.

The John H. Chapman Award of Excellence recognizes space science and industry leaders who advanced the Canadian Space Program through a lifetime of achievement.

Canada's space industry continues to leverage scientific and techonological breakthroughs and is recongnized as a global leader in space niche markets.