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Friday, October 19

1:05pm EDT

What is the Space Generation Advisory Council?
You've probably seen the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) or SpaceGen name somewhere, or interacted with someone that has been to one of our activities. But what is SGAC, what does it do, and what are its outcomes? I cannot tell you all SGAC does, but hopefully I can paint a picture of some of the more impactful activities we have done in the past few years. More importantly, I will share with you how people like you have worked with SGAC to help share the views of the next generation on relevant space policy topics with the UN, space agency and the global space community.  

avatar for Ali Nasseri

Ali Nasseri

Space Generation Advisory Council
I am an Aerospace engineer turned Educator turned Physicist. I have worked on the design of launch systems and propulsion, combustion and spintronics in the past as a researcher. I also Chaired the Space Generation Advisory Council from 2016-2018. Talk to me about anything space... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 1:05pm - 1:25pm EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

1:25pm EDT

The Space-based Kill Assessment Program: Space-based Missile Defense, Militarized Outer Space and its Terrestrial Implications

* The sneak peek of the animated presentation can be viewed here (Its full copy available upon request).

In 2014, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), a section of the US Department of Defense (DoD), ambitiously launched its Space-based Kill Assessment (SKA) project in an effort to reinforce the American missile defense capabilities, such as the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), by 2020. The SKA sensors – an important component of the system to create a more robust communications network for more strategic interception of incoming threats – are expected to be on orbit in 2018, tested and fielded in the consecutive years. It is also noteworthy that these sensors will be piggy-backed on commercial satellites mainly for the cost savings benefits. This reportedly first partnership of the MDA with commercial stakeholders for its space applications evokes the on-going debate over the dual-use objects as a potential aid to space weapons, in addition to the implications of the ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ (MIC) associated with the US military.

While some governments, such as that of the US, insist on the self-defense and security purposes in its march towards outer space for military interests, like the justification of experimenting the US’ SKA sensor network, such military-oriented space policies have critically been assessed because they would eventually result in compromising the peaceful uses of outer space, as stipulated in the Outer Space Treaty (1967), by adding new tensions and sources of conflicts. A dilemma between the national security needs and the benefit of global cooperation never seems to end. Though, given the winds of war still blowing in our world, the current global paradigm calls for individual State’s voluntary dedication to the prevention of armed conflicts.

By and large, outer space is perceived as a field of adventure and unlimited possibilities; e.g., the mine of untouched natural resources and the next destination for civilization. And yet, it has also been serving as an excellent high ground from which to gain a military advantage since the inception of the Space Age, which may well generate some destructive outcomes contrary to such life-giving potentials publicly anticipated from 'space.' Thus, this presentation intends not only to discuss primarily how the US Space Program – as part of its national defense policy – is in conformity with an international effort to ‘harmoniously’ enhance global space security, but more importantly, to emphasize that now may be the time to reflect on the weight of our terrestrial decisions – government and industry alike – extending to the extraterrestrial forum. So, we may hopefully find a way to "bring space down to earth" truly for more sustainable human future, and ultimately, for the greater good of all people.

avatar for Julianne Oh

Julianne Oh

Doctoral Candidate, Royal Military College of Canada (RMC)
Julianne Oh is currently a doctoral candidate at the Royal Military College of Canada (War Studies Program). She is also an alumna of McGill University; i.e., in addition to her LL.M. (Master of Laws) received from its Institute of Air and Space Law, she completed, in 2016, the Integrated... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 1:25pm - 1:45pm EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

2:15pm EDT

[SGAC: #NextGen Canada] Aligning Canada with International Partners for the Advancement of Space Exploration
In recent years, decadal surveys regularly administered by NASA and the US Congress have been used to forecast key priorities for scientific missions. The preceding National Research Council’s Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010) designated the WFIRST mission as the top priority from the scientific community, echoed by the Canadian astronomy community as well. Canada recently retracted from its commitment to this major international space project due to a lack of funding for space programs.

When solicited for interest in participation, Canada gets on board but then lacks the sustainability at a transitional point of commitment. Such endeavors are not only critical to space exploration, but also for the development of an inter-generational workforce and the scholarly advancements in space astronomy (for which the country is renowned for). The lack of a mechanism to ensure a firm engagement when a project is finally greenlit demonstrates an institutional void: the Canadian space program simply cannot rely solely on ad hoc measures and yearly budget allocations. As a result, Canada had to renege on its potential contributions to the WFIRST mission, which subsequently led to repercussions on multiple fronts. Canada would have provided key instruments that now have to be descoped from the project. Furthermore, Canada has already invested in Phase 0 studies for these technologies, roughly $3.1-million. The considerable expertise development and possible “HQP-drain” are equally important losses.

A support infrastructure to foster future collaborations requires a firm acknowledgement from the government, both financially and institutionally. This is highly prevalent as NASA steers its focus to a cislunar station with its international partners, including the CSA. There may be a future where Canada is no longer a central player at the table of major space faring nations and may even lose out on future economic outputs of the space industry. The steady retraction of Canada’s involvement in international space missions is in stark opposition to the spirit of the nation’s space pioneers, who held grand visions for the country’s role in shaping humankind’s frontier in space. Moreover, Canada stands to lose its prominence in the G7 group and its heritage as well: the third country in Space, after the Soviet Union and the US. There remains an important impetus on all members of the industry to highlight the comprehensive benefits of space exploration and its multi-dimensionality; in other words, its benefits to the economy, to Canadians and to Canada’s standing internationally.

Panel as part of the track entitled "SGAC: #NextGen Canada" - Developed by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

avatar for Zaid Rana

Zaid Rana

Junior Program Scientist, Canadian Space Agency | SGAC

avatar for Dr. Alain Berinstain

Dr. Alain Berinstain

VP Global Development, Moon Express Inc
Alain Berinstain was born and raised in Montreal and worked at the Canadian Space Agency for 17 years. Among other responsibilities, he was Director of Planetary Exploration and Space Astronomy as well as Director of Science and Academic Development at CSA. He now is now Vice President... Read More →
avatar for Dr. René Doyon

Dr. René Doyon

Director, Institute for Research on exoplanets
René Doyon obtained his PhD in astrophysics from the Imperial College of Science, Technologyand Medecine in 1990. He is full professor at the physics Department of the Université deMontréal, Director of the Institute for Research on Exoplanets and Mont-Mégantic Observatory.His... Read More →
avatar for Mike Greenley

Mike Greenley

Group President, MDA - Maxar Technologies
Mike Greenley is the Group President of MDA, a Maxar Technologies company and internationally recognized leader in advanced radar satellite systems and infrastructure, ground systems, space robotics and sensors, satellite antennas, electronics and payloads, surveillance and intelligence... Read More →
avatar for Gilles Leclerc

Gilles Leclerc

Director General, Space Exploration, Canadian Space Agency
Gilles Leclerc joined the Canadian Space Agency in 1989. He gained experience as project engineer, manager and then Director in a variety of technology development, satellite communications and international space programs. Between 1997 and 2000, Mr. Leclerc was posted at the Canadian... Read More →
avatar for Ewan Reid

Ewan Reid

President and CEO, Mission Control Space Services
Ewan Reid is the President and CEO of Mission Control Space Services Inc. a Canadian Space Exploration and Robotics company with a focus on spacecraft operations, onboard autonomy and artificial intelligence.  Prior to founding Mission Control Ewan held several positions at Neptec... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 2:15pm - 3:15pm EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1
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