The Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) Thermal
Suprathermal Analyzer (TSA) was successfully launched on December 4, 2000,
from Sptizbergen, Norway onboard a Japanese sounding rocket on a scientific
mission to learn more about the evolution of our atmosphere. This experiment
continues a long collaboration between the CSA, Canadian scientists, and
Japanese space researchers.

The TSA instrument is designed to analyze the complexities of ion
composition and distribution in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Measuring and
understanding the behavior of the very lowest energy particles and gases is
vital in understanding the origin and composition of plasma in the Earth’s
magnetosphere. Greater knowledge of the past and the evolution of the Earth
atmosphere and ionosphere will help scientists discern the planet’s history,
and possibly its future.TSA was developed for the CSA at the Institute for
Space Research at the University of Calgary under the leadership of
Principal Investigator Dr. Andrew Yau and Project Engineer Peter King. The
TSA is a newer version of the CSA-funded, Canadian-built Thermal Plasma
Analyzer, currently headed for Mars onboard Japan’s Nozomi spacecraft.

“Canadian Space Environment researchers are well respected internationally,
as evidenced by Japan’s invitation for Canadian participation in this
mission,” said Mr. Barry Wetter, Director General of the CSA’s Space Science
Program. “Such international collaboration is an important element of the
Canadian Space Program.”

Seven Japanese experiments and one from the United States accompanied the
Canadian instrument on the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science
SS520-2 rocket. Although the rocket flew to an altitude of about 1000 km, it
did not orbit the earth, but “sounded” the ionosphere, from 200 km to 1000
km, during its 19-minute flight.

Established in 1989 and situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space
Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its
“Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development” business line, the
CSA delivers seven service lines: Earth and the Environment; Space Science;
Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space
Technologies; Space Qualification Services; and, Comptrollership and
Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development
and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and

For more information:

Caroline Lavallée

Senior Communications Officer

Canadian Space Agency

Tel.: (450) 926-4370