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Planning Canada's next chapter in human space exploration: health and biomedical roles

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), engaged the biomedical, health and performance communities as well as space stakeholders to help identify potential Canadian health and biomedical roles in human deep space missions, and explore new ways to collaborate to improve the innovation process in both space and terrestrial health.

Past engagement activities

National Forum

Space, Health and Innovation: Emerging challenges, new opportunities and benefits to society
November 29-30, 2017, John H. Chapman Space Centre, Longueuil, Quebec

From industry, academia and governments, this event will bring together key Canadian health and biomedical experts with space stakeholders to identify shared healthcare challenges, explore opportunities to collaborate and leverage research and technology development activities, and exchange ideas on integrated, solution-driven partnerships between academia, government, industry and clinicians to stimulate innovation.

The Forum will provide participants with an opportunity to hear from some of Canada's former and active astronauts as they share their unique perspective of the health dimensions of space flight and the challenges of future human missions to the Moon and Mars. Participants will also hear from and be able to exchange with leading researchers and innovators on the latest advances in health technologies, and how emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics and genomics are creating new possibilities for space and terrestrial applications.

If you have any questions, please email us at

Space health information sessions

Hear about the effects of the space environment on the human body; the challenges of human spaceflight; future space exploration medical capabilities; and parallels with terrestrial health challenges, such as those related to aging and life in remote, confined and isolated environments.

Hear from companies and researchers who have experience developing technologies and conducting research for space.

Learn about potential opportunities to play a role in support of astronaut healthcare and performance in future space exploration missions. Be a part of the conversation!

If you have expertise in technology development and/or research related to any of the following areas, we invite you to attend our information session: wearables, sensors, advanced materials, artificial intelligence, decision support, digital technologies, telemedicine, imaging technologies, radiation dosimetry and shielding, neurocognitive assessment techniques, bio-analysis technologies, electronic medical records, training and simulation, advanced therapeutics and advanced medical equipment, life-support systems, genomics, food and nutrition, preventive medicine, personalized medicine, aging research, living and health care delivery in an isolated, confined and extreme environment, e-health, and population health. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and experts in other relevant areas are also invited to attend.

  • Montreal: October 11, 2017, 08:00-12:30, Centre de Recherche de CRCHUM
  • Toronto: October 26, 2017, 08:00-12:30, MaRS Discovery District
  • Halifax: November 2, 2017, 08:00-12:30, Innovacorp Enterprise Center
  • Calgary: November 6, 2017, 08:00-12:30, Alberta Innovates
  • Vancouver: November 8, 2017, 08:00-12:30, NRC-Vancouver

If you have any questions or would like to discuss whether your expertise is relevant, please email us at


Agenda details
Time Activity
8:00 a.m. Registration
8:30 Welcome
8:40 Presentation of information session objectives
8:55 Presentation by CSA partners
9:05 Introduction to CSA's mandate and programs
9:15 Human spaceflight
  1. Effect of space environment on the human body
  2. Challenges of spaceflight
  3. Exploration missions beyond the International Space Station
9:45 Presentation by a researcher
10:00 Networking break
10:20 Technology needs and requirements for space
10:50 Presentation by space companies
11:20 Upcoming opportunities
11:35 Q & A
12:30 p.m. End of the session

Background information

Space agencies from around the world are looking towards the future of deep-space exploration beyond the International Space Station (ISS). Canada is exploring how to contribute to the exciting new opportunities that will ensue as humanity takes its next steps into the solar system.

The 2016 extension of Canada's commitment to participate in the ISS will provide opportunities to develop leading-edge space technologies and conduct research to position Canada to take part in the next phase of human space exploration.

Over the course of the next year, the CSA will provide multiple opportunities for Canada's space and non-space communities (academia and industry) to propose innovative ideas for science and technologies in areas that could contribute to future human space exploration and generate benefits on earth. As part of this effort, the CSA is looking at various disciplines and fields of activity where Canada could make significant contributions including in the field of health and bio-medical technologies.

The health and well-being of space crews is the primary limiting factor in the achievement of long-duration space missions and a key area of interest for all ISS partners, as they plan the next steps in space exploration beyond the ISS.

As part of its human spaceflight objectives, the CSA recruits and trains Canadian astronauts and secures and implements flight opportunities for them. The CSA currently implements a suite of activities to identify, characterize and mitigate risks associated with long duration spaceflight as well as to address astronauts' health and performance. These activities cover scientific research, technology development, hardware manufacturing and payload operations, as well as the training and spaceflight of astronauts and delivery of ground and space-based healthcare and medical services.

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