Canadian Space Agency Sees Science Cooperation With Russia as Area of Growth

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The Canadian Space Agency considers the cooperation with Russia on space science as a promising area of growth, agency’s President Sylvain Laporte told Sputnik.

“We are getting into a lot of science missions, for example. And I do know that our researchers both in Canada and in Russia collaborate a lot on writing different types of papers […] So the collaboration is there. But the foundation of more collaboration for space science is certainly well-established. So, that would be an area of growth”, Laporte said Tuesday on the sidelines of the 35th annual Space Symposium, which is taking place on 8-11 April in the US state of Colorado.

Moreover, the Canadian Space Agency is open to new joint projects with the Russian Roscosmos, Laporte told Sputnik.

“Currently we have a great cooperation [with Russia] […] In fact, I was in Moscow and then in Baikonur for the launch of our astronaut David Saint-Jacques, who is currently on the International Space Station. We were able to launch him through exceptional level of collaboration with Roscosmos. And I see the future as bright as the past”, Laporte said on Tuesday.

Laporte noted that Canada had committed to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway project, which envisages creation of a lunar-orbit space station, for the next 24 years.
“A good part of the decision for our government to commit for such a long period of time, which is uncommon for governments to do that, was the value of the partnership that we have with all of the countries, including our partnership with Russia […] We collaborate extensively on a number of fronts. In terms of other collaborations, we are always open,” he added.

Meanwhile, Laporte suggested Tuesday it was too premature to talk about the participation in the Chinese Space Station project.

“The Chinese have mentioned that they were open for future collaboration […] The conversations are nascent. We are just beginning to discuss how that could materialize. At this point it’s too early to be able to judge whether or not there are benefits for us to participate in that venture […] But I think what’s encouraging is that the conversations and dialogue are ongoing”, Laporte said on Tuesday.

In January, the China National Space Administration said that Beijing hoped for international cooperation on construction of the Chinese space station. Last year, Shi Zhongjun, China’s ambassador to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, said that Beijing was ready to allow other UN nations to use the Chinese space station on an equal basis.

China is planning to launch the main module of the station in 2019 to test all the necessary technologies. The station is expected to become fully functional in 2022.

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