Saint-Hubert, Quebec, March 1, 2002 -ENVISAT, the European Space Agency’s
(ESA) most advanced Earth Observation (EO) satellite was launched
successfully yesterday. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), a cooperating
member of ESA, and Canadian private sector partners, are playing a key role
in the success of this project.

“The Canadian participation in ENVISAT is an outstanding example of how
successful international partnerships will contribute to ensuring that
Canada remains at the forefront of discovery,” said Allan Rock, Minister of
Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency. “By
expanding and strengthening its expertise and cooperation with the European
Space Agency, the CSA is providing momentum in Canada’s quest for excellence
as a world leader in innovation, and keeping Canadian companies at the
cutting edge of new technologies.”

Canadian companies, which have been awarded $ 36.7 million in contracts from
ESA for the design and construction of ENVISAT, have all developed
leading-edge products or services for the space industry. These leaders
include ABB Bomem of Quebec City, COM DEV of Cambridge, Ontario, EMS
Technologies of Sainte Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, MacDonald Dettwiler and
Associates (MDA) of Richmond, British Columbia, and MPB Technologies oue=”
Pointe Claire, Quebec.

The CSA Satellite Operations group supplied Tracking, Telemetry and Control
(TT & C) support to the ARIANE 5 rocket from its ground station in
Saint-Hubert, and in response to directions received from the Centre Spatial
Guyanais (CSG) Range Operations Manager in Kourou, French Guiana.

ENVISAT, the follow-on to the earlier EO satellites ERS-1 and ERS-2, will be
used extensively by Canadians, together with data provided by our own
RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2, to be launched at the end of 2003. RADARSAT-2
will be the first of a next generation of Earth Observation satellites.

In addition to increased expertise and revenues generated by their
participation in the ENVISAT project, Canadians will also benefit from the
data provided by ENVISAT through 21 projects submitted by Canadian
scientists and retained by ESA. These projects cover many applications
ranging from studying atmospheric gases and vegetation land cover to
monitoring ice flow movement.

On February 12, 2002, the Government of Canada launched Canada’s Innovation
Strategy, two papers that lay out a plan to address skills and innovation
challenges for the next decade. The paper released by Industry Minister
Allan Rock, entitled Achieving Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge
and Opportunity, proposes goals, targets and priorities for Canada over the
next decade to: create knowledge and bring ideas to the market more quickly;
ensure a skilled workforce for the new economy; modernize business and
regulatory policies; and strengthen communities by supporting innovation at
the local level. Today’s announcement supports this strategy.
For more information about Canada’s Innovation Strategy, or to obtain a copy
of either Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians or Achieving
Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge and Opportunity, please call
1-800-OCANADA (1-800-622-6232) or visit

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters 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 services involving: Earth and the
Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite
Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services 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:

Monique Billette

Media Relations Officer

Canadian Space Agency

Telephone: (450) 926-4370