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Challengers Destruction, the Hubble Space Telescope, a New HQ for the CSA, Spar Flounders & Orbital Sciences Buys MDA
By Robert Godwin
In 1982 Phil Lapp had again tried to spark a cross-Atlantic partnership for Canadian space research with his friend Geoffrey Pardoe in England. SPAR had signed an agreement to work with the European Space Agency (ESA) on a large observation satellite named L-Sat. This agreement would ultimately start discussions which might bring Britain into the next generation of synthetic aperture (SAR) equipped satellites. Unfortunately this was not going to be an easy marriage. Long before the program could bear fruit British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pulled out of the agreement.
Problems were soon compounded by the tragic destruction of the space shuttle Challenger in early 1986. As well as the devastating loss of life, many extremely expensive long-term projects were put into a holding pattern while NASA tried to determine the source of the catastrophic failure of its most advanced and expensive space system...