Canada will transform the future of
space-based data delivery and lead cutting-edge scientific research about
space weather with the launch of its first multi-purpose satellite mission,
today announced Stephen Owen, Minister of Public Works and Government
Services, on behalf of Lucienne Robillard, Industry Minister and Minister
responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions and the
Canadian Space Agency.

Called CASSIOPE, this mission will require the building of an innovative
satellite platform adaptable for a wide range of assignments, including
science, technology, Earth observation, geological exploration and high
capacity information delivery. MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) of
Richmond, B.C., the prime contractor for CASSIOPE, will lead a Canadian
industrial team to develop both the space and ground infrastructure and will
operate the spacecraft.

"This mission is a vivid example of the strong economy the Government of
Canada is striving to achieve for the 21st century, an economy with exciting
applications on Earth and in space. This economy will provide well-paying
and meaningful work for Canadians," said Minister Robillard.

"The CASSIOPE mission demonstrates the compounding value of public-private
sector partnership in driving leading-edge technologies and science in
support of Canadian priorities," said Minister Owen. "CASSIOPE will enhance
the Canadian space industry’s leadership in information delivery from space
and showcase our capacity to design innovative small and micro-satellites.
It will also contribute to Canada’s longstanding expertise in atmospheric

The Government of Canada is investing more than $140 million in the
development of key technologies and stands to derive a substantial return on
its investment if these technologies result in commercial success. The
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is providing $63 million and Technology
Partnerships Canada (TPC) $77.2 million.

"Our investment in the design of these new space satellites will increase
Canadian knowledge and expertise, diversify our space industry and enhance
the timely delivery of Canadian payloads on a more frequent basis," said CSA
President Marc Garneau.

Scheduled for launch in 2007, CASSIOPE will initiate the pilot-phase of a
new information delivery service called Cascade that will allow very large
amounts of information to be delivered to decision-makers anywhere in the
world. Future missions could provide a groundbreaking commercial digital
package delivery service, creating a veritable Courier-in-the-Sky to
customers ranging from resource exploration companies to trade markets.

CASSIOPE will also include an innovative scientific probe carrying a suite
of eight scientific instruments, called ePOP, developed by a scientific team
led by the University of Calgary. This $10.3 million CSA-funded payload will
collect new data and details on space storms in the upper atmosphere and
their potentially devastating impacts on radio communications, GPS
navigation, and other space-based technologies.

An animation is available at

For more information, visit CSA’s web site at or contact:

Media Relations
Industry Canada
(613) 943-2502

Monique Billette
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: (450) 926-4370