Canada's Space Policy Framework


  1. Canadian Interests First
  2. Positioning the Private Sector at the Forefront of Space Activities
  3. Progress Through Partnerships
  4. Excellence in Key Capabilities
  5. Inspiring Canadians
Areas for Action Commercialization Research and Development Exploration of Space
Stewardship, Management & Accountability


Space is increasingly congested, contested and competitive. In October 1957, Sputnik 1 was the only artificial satellite in Earth orbit. Today, there are close to 1,100 operational satellites, and more than 22,000 pieces of orbital debris larger than 10 cm have been catalogued. Every G20 nation now has its own satellite system in space, and the emerging economies of China, Russia, India and Brazil have made substantial investments in their national space programs. For the Canadian space industry, that means greater competition even as it presents new customers and markets to be courted.

Meanwhile, the sheer number of objects in orbit makes the global communication infrastructure ever more vulnerable to the escalating risk of satellite collision. Cyber security is threatened by weapons that can disrupt space-borne communication or destroy space assets outright.

This animation replicates the rate at which space debris is growing. Recent satellite collision events have multiplied the amount of debris in orbit, further increasing the danger of more collisions. Today, it is estimated that more than 22,000 objects larger than 10 cm across are orbiting the Earth. Credit: NASA / Canadian Space Agency

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