Western University’s new Institute for Earth and Space Exploration (Western Space) works towards two long-term objectives: Launching Western into Space and Bringing Space Down to Earth. 
At a special event on Monday, October 7, faculty, staff and students leading Western Space will gather to officially launch the institute and thanks to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will make ‘first contact’ with a highly-identifiable flying object that meets both objectives. 
The launch event is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. at Western’s International and Graduate Affairs Building and will feature remarks from Western Space Director Gordon “Oz” Osinski and former CSA astronaut Dave Williams, who serves as inaugural chair of Western Space’s Advisory Council, commencing at 3:30 p.m. 
Graduate students from the Canadian CubeSat Project and the High Altitude Balloon Project will also be in attendance, as well as Western Space researchers from the faculties of Arts & Humanities, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Law, Science, Social Science and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. 
“Western has long been home to several extraordinary research groups, including the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, actively investigating different aspects of Earth and space exploration,” says Osinski. “With the creation of Western Space, our goal is to be Canada’s indisputable leader in Earth and space exploration research and training. This may sound ambitious but it is attainable as we have more than 60 researchers working together across eight faculties and 19 departments – a critical mass unrivaled in this country.”
Western Space concentrates on excellence in problem-based interdisciplinary research, national and international leadership, training and education, and public engagement and outreach. 
Established in June 2019, Western Space builds on the foundations of the former Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, which was launched in 2008.   
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, jrenaud9@uwo.ca, @jeffrenaud99
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