Ok, sorry, that header was a little dramatic. Let’s start at the beginning…..Stephen Harper (he’s the Prime Minister of our little land) has appointed former chief of defence Walter Natynczyk to head of the Canadian Space Agency. Upon being appointed, he said “Space…that’s the thing that’s up there, right?!”
If you’re asking why a military figure would be running a space program……then you should get into journalism!
Scientists also seem confused by the move (so maybe you could also be a scientist. See? Your future is so bright!), coming to the conclusion “It’s about the militarization of space”, says Steven Staples (President of the Rideau Institute, a think tank in Ottowa). A danger lies in the potential for Canada’s focus moving from exploring the awesomeness of space to simply making the atmosphere a war zone.
This would go against the agency’s mandate “To promote the peaceful use and development of space, to advance the knowledge of space through science and to ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians.” …. to which may now potentially be added “…and to blow shit up”.
The CSA has been asked to cut their budget by $25million this year, and have recently lost 30 staff members. I suspect their financial problems may change once it’s deemed incredibly important as a military operation.