Canada adds bureaucracy to commercial space race


I wanted flying cars and a Martian colony, but I got 140 characters instead. This line, and its various variations, are often used to express frustration that scientific progress has somehow stalled in the last few decades.

Its first use is commonly attributed to tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel. He regularly laments that while we’ve done a great job on the gadget side (creating the iPhone and creating apps like Twitter), we haven’t really made much progress. I’ve predicted things like space travel and cancer treatments before.

The main outlier is Elon Musk, Thiel’s former business partner at PayPal, and his company, SpaceX, has essentially pulled space exploration away from the public sector, leaving the private sector behind. I made it possible.

Space enthusiasts have waited patiently for NASA to announce the project, but now it is assumed that SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and other private companies will move the field forward. It’s a billionaire commercial space race.

With this in mind, Canada’s liberal federal government’s announcement that it intends to make commercial space launches easier is a positive sign.

Rep. Mark Garneau, former astronaut and head of the Canadian Space Agency, said: “Today’s announcement helps position our country as a leader in commercial space launches. This benefits the economy and is a good job for Canadians. will produce,” he said.

A government press release touted that “Canadian and international advocates have expressed interest in conducting commercial space launch activities from Canada,” making it an advantageous geographical location to host these launches. is in a position

Any progress, such as building a colony on the Moon, sending humans to Mars, or expanding the commercialization of space with projects like asteroid mining, should be considered good progress.

The question is whether Canada’s plans actually help or hinder the commercial space race. Government announcements lack vision and focus on bureaucracy.

Here are the details of what they actually have planned. “Transport Canada will work closely with other federal agencies and agencies to develop the stringent regulatory requirements, safety standards and licensing conditions required for commercial space launches in Canada.”

The timeline they have set is three years. And he’s less than three years away from the first commercial launch. It will be three years until they develop these “robust” regulations.

Given that these targets will not be met, it means the regulation will not be implemented for 4-5 years. So how long until the actual launch is minimal? Ten years? it’s depressing.

A prime example regularly offered to show how slow and narrow-minded both government and society have become in this regard is John F. Kennedy’s pledge to send mankind to the moon through today’s lens. to see.

In 1962, the President said the United States would achieve this goal by 1970. That goal was achieved in the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.

It is interesting to note that recent advances in the aerospace sector have happened in spite of governments, not thanks to them. Many of Elon Musk’s previous space launches were technically illegal, and the Federal Aviation Administration warned him in advance not to continue. There is also

new documentary “back to space, about SpaceX’s latest mission, mentions that government funding somehow stifled innovation. signed a big contract with They didn’t like the idea of ​​SpaceX jumping on the scene and changing the game.

So we have to be cautiously optimistic about Canada and others wanting to join the new space race. Want to get people excited? yes. Do you want each country to support it? yes.

But recent evidence suggests that for this to succeed, the government’s priority must be to foster rapid development, not sit around for years trying to figure out bureaucracy.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

Anthony Fury

Anthony Furey is Vice President of Editorial and Content at the True North Centre.