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Another Op'Nin, Another Show... Next Space Strategy June 2017
It's settled. The Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered up a " new space strategy," to be unveiled in June, 2017 (shortly after the next budget is tabled) along with a reconstituted " space advisory board." 

As reported in the November 21st, 2016 post, " The US Military, CSeries, Roland Berger, Bell, MDA, Airships & Minister Bains at the 2016 Canadian Aerospace Summit," the broad outline of this top-down strategy was unveiled by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains at the 2016 Canadian Aerospace Summit, which was held from November 14th - 15th in Ottawa, Ontario.

But, in the view of the Commercial Space blog, that outline is going nowhere.

Policy and strategy assessments related to national space programs, like the 1967 Upper Atmosphere and Space Programs in Canada  (known today as the " Chapman Report" and generally considered to be " Canada's original blueprint " for space activities), the 2009  Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee (also known as the 2nd Augustine Commission ) and the 2010 UK Space Innovation and Growth Strategy  (which led directly to the creation of the UK Space Agency in 2010), traditionally include three components. These are:
  1. An inventory of the existing infrastructure and capabilities available for space activities. 
  2. An overall goal to aspire towards. That goal could be "improving telecommunications services in the far north" or "coordinating Canada's contribution to the International Space Station" or even "getting to the Moon before the Soviets," which was NASA's initial goal in the early 1960's.
  3. An assessment of the expected improvements needed in order to achieve that defined goal.
Canada currently has no defined goal to aspire towards. The government needs to know what it wants to do, before it can release any plan that's going to make sense. 

Kiss me, Navdeep! The opening number " Another Op'nin Another Show ," from the 1999 revival of "Kiss Me, Kate," filmed in London and starring  Rachel York. Screen shot c/o You-Tube.

To be fair to our politicians, it's getting more and more difficult to develop a goal for government space programs. 

As loyal Commercial Space blog readers already know, medium sized, privately held corporations are planning on their own to launch thousands of satellites into orbit, rockets are proliferating across dozens of small start-ups and capable Moon rovers can be designed and built in most post-secondary engineering faculties.

We don't need the government to tell them what to do. 

That's why recent efforts to develop a single, overarching goal for government space efforts, such as the  2003 Canadian Space Strategy , the Long-Term Space Plan developed (but never published) by then CSA president Steve MacLean in 2010, and the 2014 Canada's Space Policy Framework, were generally considered to have been failures. 

The 2012 David Emerson led Aerospace Review recommended that commercial players take a larger role in space efforts, while the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Federal government should more or less step aside and let the private sector more forward. 

It was a good plan, but it didn't meet the approval of at least one or two space advocacy groups.  So we're going to build another plan. 

"Another Op'Nin, Another Show, as they sang in the 1948 Broadway musical, "Kiss Me Kate."

This blog has covered and intends to continue covering the Federal government and its evolving plans to announce the next space "strategy" in June 2017.

But we're going to be shrewd about it -- and we're going to make sure our business readers are well equipped to do the same.

Knowledge of national government plans, policies and especially their capabilities are essential tools required to inform the actions of the modern space entrepreneur. The Commercial Space blog will be there to assess the options. 

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