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Cooperating with countries around the world

Cooperating peacefully with other countries to achieve common goals

Countries from all over the world work together to explore space. A great example is the International Space Station (ISS), one of the most complex technological endeavours of all time.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NASA (USA) and Roscosmos (Russia) joined forces to make this research laboratory in space a reality.

Watch Canadian astronauts discuss this topic during a panel discussion on the future of space exploration.

Developing niche expertise

By working together, different countries can take charge of separate aspects of a project. This cooperation allows nations to develop specialties and expertise that make the overall missions collaborative successes.

For example, by addressing the need for a grappling arm that could manipulate spacecraft in orbit, Canada designed Canadarm and became a world leader in space robotics. Health and life sciences and Earth observation are two other specialties Canada has leveraged through space exploration.

Seeing Earth as one planet without borders

"I spent a lot of time in the Cupola, looking down at the Earth. What always struck me every time I went there is how beautiful the Earth is, how fragile it looks and how alive it is with the clouds and the water, the auroras and the presence of humans, obvious at night with the lights."

Another valuable benefit of space exploration is being able to see our planet from afar. While a few borders are visible from space, such as the border between China and Kazakhstan, most are not, which gives astronauts a whole new perspective of our home.

Known as the overview effect, seeing our planet as a whole in the vastness of space opens their eyes to how fragile, beautiful and unique it is. This can awaken a desire to better protect our planet. Even though most of us will never have that exact experience, we can explore Earth through pictures taken from space to see the world through an astronaut's eyes.

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