Press Release

Bristol Aerospace to Lead Design of Canada’s Innovative Small Satellite Bus

By SpaceRef Editor
March 10, 2004
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Longueuil, Quebec, March 10, 2004 – The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) today announced it has selected Magellan Aerospace Corporation’s Bristol Aerospace operating division in Winnipeg, Manitoba to design Canada’s multi-mission small-satellite platform. The design of this innovative spacecraft platform or “bus” will provide Canada with a cost-effective platform for launching groundbreaking scientific and technology demonstration missions in space.

“The Canadian Space Agency’s choice of a venerable Manitoba company such as Bristol Aerospace demonstrates the strength and capacity of the Canadian aerospace industry nationwide,” said Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Industry, Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency. “The CSA’s small satellite program initiative also illustrates the leadership and innovative zeal Canadians are bringing to the evolving global industrial and scientific space community.”

Administered through the Canadian Space Agency’s Small Satellite Bus Development Program, this project builds on recent experiences gained through the design of MOST, Canada’s first micro-satellite and SCISAT, an atmospheric/environmental science satellite. These two small all-Canadian science satellites were launched in the summer of 2003.

“Through the design of this standardized small-satellite platform, the Canadian Space Agency is enhancing opportunities for Canadian space science, research, new technology development, demonstration and industrial applications,” said Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space Agency. “Our investment will build Canada’s specialized space expertise and extend its capabilities through the design, fabrication and integration of complete space systems aboard a uniquely Canadian platform.”

During the next ten years, the Canadian Space Agency plans to use these small-satellite spacecraft platforms for a variety of missions and a wide range of payloads to meet the needs of the scientific community, industry and the priorities of the Government of Canada. The missions will be determined according to the strategic needs of the Canadian Space Program in key areas of interest related to: Earth and Environment, Space Science and Exploration, Space Technology and Satellite Communications.

The contract, valued at $2 million, covers the preliminary design stages of this small-satellite platform. The first demonstration of the new bus design will take place on the recently announced CASSIOPE Mission, scheduled for launch in 2007.

For more information, please contact:

Monique Billette

Senior Media Relations Officer

Canadian Space Agency

Telephone: (450) 926-4370


SpaceRef staff editor.