Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Canada Plans Mars Mission

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the blame-high dept.

Space 232

TO-Mars writes: "Marc Garneau, first Canadian in space and current Executive Vice-President of the Agence Spatiale Canadienne, announced in Montréal that the CSA intends a major space exploration effort, including a $500 million Mars mission. For the good of Canada and the spacefarers of Earth, let us hope that the CSA does not again eat its own, and weathers any threats to this inspiring development. I wish to stand at Champ de Mars in Montréal in a few years looking upward with pride ..."

cancel ×


Re:$500M?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192671)

They're probably sending a bottle rocket.

Goverment cover op. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192672)

They just need somewhere to send Stockwell Day

Why is it odd ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192673)

If you just refer to it in Frog, you're less likely to get sued or harassed by the Language Gestapo. I've not heard of anyone getting arrested or fined for NOT using English, but routinely read about it for not using Frog.

Re:Canada as a spacefaring nation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192675)

Get a clue. It was the Eurocopter EH-101/CR variant that was ordered. Eurocopter has yet to prove it's ability to actually produce past the test stage. They have yet to setup production lines, or come in under cost on R&D (For the Typhoon and the EH101).
It was cancelled because it was a bad idea in the first place. Eurocopter is a desperate bid by europeans to displace the American manufactures. Ain't gonna happen.

Re:Launch site? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192676)

Churchill, Manitoba - a launch site in the making for about 40 years. Every once in awhile, someone (usually an amurikan) gets the idea that Churchill's latitude would make it excellent for launches... then a little later, they find out it's hard to get rocket scientists to live where it's freakishly cold. :)

NASA responds. (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192677)

In other news today NASA administrator Daniel "Hosehead" Goldin announced that
NASA will be the reviewing its plans for its Mars Missions. Goldin went on to
say "Heck, we just can't figure out this metric thing, so we've decided to pay
Canada 20 million (US$) to acquire space on their launch vehicle. We will
become the first nation in history to launch a space tourist rover, appropriatly the rover name will be TITO."

Beagle 2: British led effort (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#192679)

Then there's also the British led effort to Mars called the Beagle 2 [] which is to be launched in June 2003.

The project aims to land a 30kg (pounds? hope not another ESA blunder) lander onto the surface of Mars.

For more informaiton see also the Mars Society site and

Re:Not manned (5)

Tom Rothamel (16) | more than 13 years ago | (#192680)

Actually, there were a few achievments that the US did get to first. Specifically:

  • First rendezvous between two manned spacecraft. (Gemini 76)
  • First docking of a manned spacecraft. (Gemini VIII)
  • First manned craft to orbit the moon. (Apollo 8)
  • First manned moon landing. (Apollo 11)

That's just by the manned program. There are also a few firsts by the US in the unmanned arena, including the first flybys of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. IIRC, the US was also the first to flyby Mercury, and to land on an asteroid.

I just wouldn't say the Soviets were ahead on every major score, especially after Gemini got going.

Canucks in space? (1)

ryder (111) | more than 13 years ago | (#192681)

God help us.

Perhaps he meant Canada is planning a trip to the town of Mars in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania?

It's a small town northwest of Pittsburgh PA.

We can only hope.

Re:O man what a waste of money! (5)

Micah (278) | more than 13 years ago | (#192682)

Yeah, CA$500 million. That's enough to buy.... let's see.... a burger, fries, and Coke!

Launch site? (1)

jnik (1733) | more than 13 years ago | (#192686)

Given that Canada lies north of the 48th, I wonder what they're planning on using for a launch site. Probably they can get time with some of the many equatorial launch facilities, but a Mars program involves transporting an awfully large amount of stuff to the launch site, especially if they try to keep production mainly within Canada.

Wow, $500 million Canadian dollars (1)

Ross C. Brackett (5878) | more than 13 years ago | (#192696)

What does that translate to -- about $40 US, right? They should just buy themselves a carton of Marlboro Reds and call it a day.

The down-side is the canandian (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 13 years ago | (#192697)

space module will have to be larger to accomodate the required size font for the French labels for everything. The upside is it will 'look' cool and have a stylish name :)

Will they be sending a member of the French Language Purity Squad (FLPS) along to ensure the proper use of grammar ?

Re:Good idea (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#192699)

I suspect most of us Canucks would hand you the knife, too. That guy is an asshole to no end.

Care to kill the people that keep making it possible for him to make movies? Surely some SOB in Hollywood should be taken 'round back and shot for letting Tom have a movie...


Re:When did we get a space program? (4)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 13 years ago | (#192702)

Yea, I bet its no coincidence its shaped like a hockey stick....

Re:Hypocritical Canadians (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 13 years ago | (#192704)

the first reason mostly apply to quebec, since the 50-50 result of 1995 referendum, there's a massive propaganda effort on canadian unity and symbolism. just look at the olympics and you'll see that there's even more canadian flags than usa ones! (hey, and we all know how much americans like to "show off") somehow quebec nationalism is bad but canadian nationalism is good. anyway.

Nonsense. Canadian patriotism has been strong in the same subdued sort of way for a long long time. It has nothing to do with Quebec, nor with any subliminal nationalism push. Personally I dislike outward Canadian nationalism because I think it'll lead to a backlash: I cringe when I'm in Europe and I see people with big Canadian flags (though damn it's a beautiful flag) on their backpack because that goes for so long before someone thinks "Who the hell do you think you are? Did you fight on the shores of Normandy? No? Then quit expecting Europeans to bow down to you dickhead." That's just me though. If I had my way I'd have a nationwide "Travelling to other countries? Leave the Canadiana behind because unless you did the shit personally quit expecting to be respected for it."

BTW: Canadian Nationalism and Quebec Nationalism are two very different things. The great pride of Quebec is the language of French (a variant of French that strangely those from France mock) and to many the straight-and-narrow French society culture (i.e. As Parizeau said the "Ethnic" vote is keeping the true white French Quebecor from having the great independant nation of French White Quebecors). Canadian nationalism is a pride in the freedoms and equality of Canada. It's a pride in the multicultural tolerance and truly in the duality of Canada between French Canada and English Canada. It's a pride that despite obstacles of geography we continue to build one of the best societies on Earth for all Canadians. There will be no particular "culture" that is the pride of Canada because to do so would be racist.

BTW2: If anyone is fighting to pretend it's different it's not English Canada (where there are huge differences across the nation anyways. Alberta is completely unlike Ontario which is totally unlike the East Coast): It's Quebec. Quebec is constantly trying to invent itself as a unique society hoping to get accolades by the rest of the world. English Canada says the sky is blue? Well damnit French Canadians will be certain it must be purple. Gotta be different however trivially.

Sounds like an unmanned probe, if anything. (3)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 13 years ago | (#192708)

I'd love to see Canadians set foot on Mars, but at $500M Cdn (around $300M US), it's going to be a probe, if anything, that's sent there. This is about the right price range.

A manned ship that could be self-sufficient for the required travel times would cost as much as a space station, because it would *be* a space station.

As for the latitude comment made by another poster, the article mentions that they're going to contract out for launch capability, which probably means using one of the commercial launch companies in the US. This is more or less standard practice for industry launches.

It'll still be nice if it happens, though.

Re:Canada as a spacefaring nation... (3)

Requiem (12551) | more than 13 years ago | (#192710)

Funny, we've had a Liberal gov't since 1993. What's this "every four years" rot?

Re:Garneau said we need launch vehicle (2)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 13 years ago | (#192711)

How about Cuba?
What better way to tweak the noses of those pesky Americans then to deal with Castro & Co.?
With the help of the Canadians, the Cubans could fix their economy, get into space... and eventually rule the world!

Champ de Mars in France (1)

TraCer00t (18330) | more than 13 years ago | (#192713)

There's also one in Montreal and Quebec, both (presumably) named after the one in France.

I think this is great! (2)

TraCer00t (18330) | more than 13 years ago | (#192714)

It's about time we started spending money on things not so local. Canadians in general (and maybe people in Quebec more so - Living here gives me a right to that comment IHMO) seem to have an intense focus on internal issues. It's a nice change to focus on something with a little more importance to the planet as a whole, instead of who lives next to who, and what language they happen to speak. Finally - something I'm happy to have my tax dollars pay. I think it's been a long time coming, and I only hope this is just the beginning!

Re:O man what a waste of money! (2)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 13 years ago | (#192716)

FYI CDN$500M ~= US$340M

I like to think of the exchange rate as a "THANK FUCKING GOD I AM NOT AMERICAN" tax. I gladly pay it. :)

Idea: IMAX camera on a Mars rover. (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 13 years ago | (#192722)

Now THIS would be cool. Another great Canadian technology giving you the feeling of actually BEING there.

Too bad an IMAX film can only holds 3 minutes of film. Then you'd have to get it back here to be developed....

*sigh* Still waiting for a high-bandwidth probe to NOT have the high-bandwidth antenna die at an inconvenient time.

Re:$500M?? - Replies based on NASA history (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 13 years ago | (#192723)

OK, in America where it costs $1M to put a toilet in Air Force One $500M will get you squat.

Having less money available forces you to improvide chaper methods. Maybe they could pull it off.

Re:Canada as a spacefaring nation... (1)

topham (32406) | more than 13 years ago | (#192728)

millions? you wish, it cost BILLIONS to cancel those helicopters. It cost aproximately the same as it would have to have them built and delivered. (not kidding). And we need some to replace the few we have left. (before they all crash into the ocean)

When did we get a space program? (2)

ArchMagus (32772) | more than 13 years ago | (#192729)

Aside from that crazy arm?

Re:Garneau said we need launch vehicle (2)

gorilla (36491) | more than 13 years ago | (#192733)

I'd have to ask what's the value in doing the launch vehicle ourselves? All the preexisting developed launch sites will have their 'home' vehicle, which the site will be designed to handle. You can't (easily) launch a Ariane from Vandenberg for example. Therefore you'd have to either design a lookalike, or also build all the infrastructure. Either way, it's going to be a lot cheaper to just buy a ride on the existing vehicle.

Re:Garneau said we need launch vehicle (1)

HerrNewton (39310) | more than 13 years ago | (#192736)

Yes, but you're forgetting something: Remember what happened last time a US rival placed large rockets in Cuba? You think I'm kidding? Just watch Canadian Bacon []


Re:Garneau said we need launch vehicle (5)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 13 years ago | (#192740)

Additionally, the farther you are from the equator, the harder it is to launch into orbit.

We could build our own launch vehicle, but it would have to be:

1) Not launched from Canada


2) Really Really Big.

Easier to piggyback for now... At least for the first mission...

Why do you think those Russian Proton rockets are so big? :)

Re:Champ de Mars is in Quebec! (1)

ari{Dal} (68669) | more than 13 years ago | (#192741)

Begging to differ... Champ de Mars is a historical district in old Montreal, straight off from (surprise surprise) Champ de Mars metro station, on the orange line.
(anyone wanna guess where I live?)

Re:What would be amusing.... (2)

RedWolves2 (84305) | more than 13 years ago | (#192745)

Competition!? This isn't a space race. We are not in a cold war with Canada. Nasa has already successfully reached Mars. There was a probe called the Pathfinder. It was a probe that had a remote controlled car that was controlled from earth. It was really cool. Remember we crashed the car into a rock!??!

Then there are other successful missions. The Mars Global surveyor. It is there right now taking pictures of Mars. It recently sent back pictures of the face on Mars with high-res images that detail what the mountain actually looks like and why it looks like a face with its peaks and valleys.

Currently the Mars Odessey is on its way to Mars. It launched in April and its expected to arrive in October.

Nasa has had it failures. But you can not learn without making failures. I am surprised at how much we have accomplished with so few failures. I was intrigued in what the polar lander could of told us about the polar cap on Mars. Is there water there? Maybe on another mission we will find out.

But back on topic with Canada and their plans to reach Mars. I am all for it. Space exploration is a collaborative effort. It is in the benefit of all man-kind to explore space. We as a planet should be working together to explore space. Look at the International Space Station. We as a planet are working together to build a huge science lab in space. Why should we do this you ask? Well the answer is clear. The knowledge we gain from working together and from the knowledge we gain from the experiments will be used in getting Man/women to step foot on Mars.

Let's not knock Canada's acheivments in space exploration either. The "Arm" is one of the biggest contributions to the space shuttle as well as the space station. I am still in awe of the "Arm" on the space station. The "Arm" is by far the coolest addition to the station.

The "Arm" just doesn't pivot from a base point on the station. It has two hands on either end. One to hold on to the station and the other to perform the task at hand. But because the station is so big the "Arm" can "walk" end over end to the other side by the use of it hands. And that is Canadian innovation.

I would like to see what Canadian innovation will be developed in the mission to Mars. I hope they do "wipe their faces in it" it will benefit all of us.

Re:Sounds like an unmanned probe, if anything. (2)

nachoman (87476) | more than 13 years ago | (#192748)

True $500M is about $300M US, but that doesn't mean that a $500M Canadian project will be the same as if it cost $300M US. In Canada you pay Canadian prices, Canadian materials etc. Many things are cheaper to buy now in Canada.

I'm not saying that it's as much as $500M US, I'm just trying to say you can't compare apples and oranges. Two economies can't be compared like that.

(Oranges are better anyways)

Not manned (3)

jackal! (88105) | more than 13 years ago | (#192750)

I was surprized at the lack of details. When I see them comparing this announcement to Kennedy's announcement, I think it must be a manned mission. But for 500M? The Apollo program cost BILLIONs in the 1960s. There's no way Canada will put a person on Mars for 500M. When they talk about exploration they must be talking about probes and surveyors.

This is too bad. Canada gets teased like all the time. They last thing they need is their space program making a statement that sounds like a 5-year-old saying, "I'm going to drive a truck like daddy!" and pulling out a small plastic toy.


Re:Sounds like an unmanned probe, if anything. (2)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 13 years ago | (#192753)

A manned ship that could be self-sufficient for the required travel times would cost as much as a space station, because it would *be* a space station.

Heck, it'd have to be better than a space station... or at least, better than the ISS. The ISS gets resupplied every two or three months. Fat chance on sending out a Progress halfway to Mars. :)

Re:Vaporware (3)

wannabe (90895) | more than 13 years ago | (#192754)

You just described a lot of amateur or volunteer software projects I've looked into.

Could this be the first space program hosted on sourceforge?

Re:Canucks on the Red Planet (1)

Capn_Sternn (95384) | more than 13 years ago | (#192755)

Sadly, Tim Horton's, once the pride of our nation, is now US owned (by Wendy's).

I am Dyslexic of Borg
Resemblance is fertile
Your ass will be laminated

Canada was the 3rd space faring nation! (3)

Capn_Sternn (95384) | more than 13 years ago | (#192756)

Everyone seems to forget that Canada was actually the third space-faring nation, ahead of China, France, Great Britain, etc... It's not like we haven't been there before. However, I have to wonder what can be accomplished with 500M$.

I am Dyslexic of Borg
Resemblance is fertile
Your ass will be laminated

Re:Canucks on the Red Planet (1)

Trebuchet (98044) | more than 13 years ago | (#192758)

In AD 2101 war was beginning? Or is it just a coincidence that you picked 2101? But to actually reply to your post, hadnt you noticed that we have a fancy shmancy NEW spiffy robot arm on the ISS?

Malcolm solves his problems with a chainsaw,

Re:Canada as a spacefaring nation... (1)

JohnBowman (100812) | more than 13 years ago | (#192760)

Who's going to stop them? The fragmenting right or the disintegrating left?

Re:Hmm (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 13 years ago | (#192761)

Nice trolling.

oh boy, another megaproject (2)

johnos (109351) | more than 13 years ago | (#192763)

What an incredible waste of money. The idea that Canada can do anything meaningful on its own in space is, well, really stupid is the best thing I can say about it. Better to put our money into a bigger pot with other countries and actually accomplish more than make work for downsized DND scientists.

What do you want to bet the hq of this effort will be downtown Shawinigan?

I'll be writing to my MP straightaway on this one.

Re:Canada as a spacefaring nation... (1)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 13 years ago | (#192764)

Ok, the next time the PC or NDP or whoever get in. The helicopters happened in 1993 when we went from PC to Liberal. I don't think the liberals will make another election with you?

Canada as a spacefaring nation... (2)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 13 years ago | (#192765)

Seems somewhat farfetched. Sure we have people, we have technology, but we don't have the government backing. Every four years, when we change from liberal to ...whatever, programs get squashed and the money dissappears. As a fine example, take a look at our rescue helicopters. They were on order and being built. We had an election and the order was cancelled, costing us millions in cancellation fees. For no reason other than that the new government didn't want to carry on a project from the old. About a year later the new government made a new order for cheaper and less capable choppers, at almost the same price! So if this happens to the mars mission, we'll be lucky to get to the moon.

This brings new meaning to the phrase... (1)

Mzilikazi (115009) | more than 13 years ago | (#192766)

"Take off, hoser!" ;)

Re:Launch site? (1)

Zorkon (121860) | more than 13 years ago | (#192767)

What atlas have you been looking at?

Ottawa AP (S) 45 19' N, 75 40' W
Toronto AP (S) 43 41' N, 79 38' W
Montreal AP (S) 45 28' N, 73 45' W

Granted, we don't have launch facilities, but there are parts of the US (excluding Alaska) that are farther north than where I currently live (Ottawa).

Re:Champ de Mars is in Quebec! (1)

{X-Frog} (122801) | more than 13 years ago | (#192769)

hey Pascal, btw we have a Metro station named Champs de Mars =)

Re:Canucks on the Red Planet (1)

{X-Frog} (122801) | more than 13 years ago | (#192770)

hey, we've made a new arm for the International Station, all new :) uhhh ;P and Canadiens Rocks (well, not the last 7 years =), not Canucks.. ;)

Canucks on the Red Planet (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 13 years ago | (#192771)

Well, good luck to our friendly neighbors to the north! If their spiffy 20-year-old robot arm is any indication, they should have the makings of a complete spacecraft by, say, 2101. ;-)

(Disclaimer: this is humor. I love hockey and Tim Horton's. :)

Re:Canucks on the Red Planet (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 13 years ago | (#192772)

Your lucky you put in that disclaimer... i was ready to trash that comment! hehe...

LOL :) Actually, my family's from Canada a handful of generations back, so I'll be cheering along with everybody else. :)

Re:Canucks on the Red Planet (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 13 years ago | (#192773)

God, can you imagine hockey on the Red Planet? Apart from the need to wear oxygen tanks and a spacesuit, the lower gravity and air friction would make it an insanely fast game!

Re:Canucks on the Red Planet (2)

daeley (126313) | more than 13 years ago | (#192775)

I stand corrected! I had forgotten about the second arm!

Hmm... two arms, now. I wonder if there's a giant Canadian robot on the way! Oooooh. Sneaky!

Also, another erratum: My disclaimer should have said "This is humour." :)

Re:Not manned (2)

daeley (126313) | more than 13 years ago | (#192776)

Sure, they can put a man on Mars for $500 million. Those are U.S. dollars, so it's worth at least $3 billion Candian. Also, they'll use Tom Green, and nobody'll care if they bring him back. ;-)

It's easy! (1)

Some12 (129970) | more than 13 years ago | (#192777)

Just set up a liquor store and a Tim horton on the red planet and we'll have Canadians there in no time ;-) Cheers!

What would be amusing.... (1)

MrDalliard (130400) | more than 13 years ago | (#192778)

..would be if Canada had a successful first Mars Mission.

Based on NASA's success rate (?!) with recent missions, that would really wipe their faces in it.....

It's good to see that NASA won't have a total monopoly on space exploration. Remember, in a capitalist society, competition is good!



Re:Canada as a spacefaring nation... (1)

drfrog (145882) | more than 13 years ago | (#192782)

and while we are at it
lets bring back the arrow
jet fighter

This will be a cultural mission... (2)

Anonymous Canadian (165757) | more than 13 years ago | (#192792)

Yes will conquer Mars by spreading Canadian Culture (CanCult©):

  • The preferred drink will be Labbat's Fifty
  • TV will broadcast 24 hours of Red Green, old Hockey Broadcasts and Beachcomber episodes
  • The mission will definitively prove that duct tape is a universal adhesive
  • Hockey hair/mullets will be the hairstyle of choice
And the inhabitants will bore the tears out of Americans by staging some silly referendum every 6 years.

Oh boy, (1)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 13 years ago | (#192797)

I can see The Onion headlines already:


Oh, Canada (1)

motek (179836) | more than 13 years ago | (#192801)

That must have been taken from Red Green show.


Garneau said we need launch vehicle (2)

DeadVulcan (182139) | more than 13 years ago | (#192804)

This was covered in our local paper (The Ottawa Citizen; sorry, couldn't find an on-line article).

Garneau had said that the only thing we couldn't do ourselves ("we" meaning Canada of course) is the launch vehicle. I don't quite see why.

(And for those who were wondering, of course this is unmanned!! A manned mission would be totally cool, but Canada? All by herself? Not for a long while yet.)

I can totally understand needing to secure a good (equatorial) launch site, but the vehicle? That's not really all that high-tech, is it?

Anyone have any ideas why Garneau said this?


Re:Not manned (5)

DeadVulcan (182139) | more than 13 years ago | (#192806)

During the space race, the Soviets were able to compete (they didn't do terribly well, but they did at least compete)

I disagree. The Soviets got the Americans beat on just about every major score except putting a man on the moon:

  • First satellite in space
  • First animal in space
  • First human being in space
  • First human being to orbit the earth
  • First unmanned probe on another planet
  • First permanent space station

Not to cheapen the American accomplishment, mind you - putting a man on the moon was almost nothing short of a miracle.

I guess Americans can claim the prize for first reusable spacecraft, too, although the Russians had something of the sort on the way, I understand. I don't know how far they got with it.

The Americans surged ahead when unfortunate economics started to kick in for the Soviets.


eat our exaust (1)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#192807)


Wow - sorry, that will be the last display of nationalist jingoism from me for a while... I will now return to my demur intellectual demenor.


Sorry. ;)

Pretension and pedantry (1)

saforrest (184929) | more than 13 years ago | (#192809)

"Marc Garneau, first Canadian in space and current Executive Vice-President of the Agence Spatiale Canadienne, announced in Montréal that the CSA intends a major space exploration effort..."

Why do you insist, in an English article, on using the French name of the CSA ("Agence Spatiale Canadienne")? Just call it the Canadian Space Agency, for God's sake! These saddening stabs at an international air just make you look desperate.

In addition, you then introduce the abbreviation "CSA", as yet undefined, and expect everyone to figure out it's the same organization!

Finally, if you must be pretentious and use French names unnecessarily, at least do it correctly. Don't mix definite articles across languages (use "le" rather than "the") and only capitalize the first word: l'Agence spatiale canadienne. You'd see that if you followed your own link. :)

Peace in complexity,


B.Math (PM/CS), University of Waterloo

"æs ofereode, isses swa mæg." - Deor

Good for Us! (1)

blitzrage (185758) | more than 13 years ago | (#192810)

Ever since Canada made the move of stopping production and research on the Avro Arrow [] , we have fallen so far behind the space program that countries with smaller available budgets and starving people are bypassing us in space research, which is supposed to be the "final" frontier. Canada could atleast put forth and try launching atleast one space probe a year and contributing more to the greater good of humans and helping out with space research.

Re:What a waste of money (1)

blitzrage (185758) | more than 13 years ago | (#192811)

Ummmm... the US landed on the moon several times. And what did it do for the US? They are now the richest nation and have the best space program (arguably) in the world? I'm Canadian, and love Canada, but landing on the moon showed what the US was capable of. BTW: This is not intended as flame bait, but I have my fire proof suit on.

Eh...? (1)

mizhi (186984) | more than 13 years ago | (#192812)

Must be a slow newsday...

Oh well, here's the obligatory reference to SP:

But I haven't thought up a witty way to put it in the context of a Mars takeover by Canada...

Waste of Money (1)

ronny_magic (196859) | more than 13 years ago | (#192816)

For $500 million, you could most likely send more than a dozen probes out - There's very little than requires actual people in space nowadays. It's a pity that countries have to burn money on such 'prestige' missions.

If at first you don't secede, then launch! (1)

smnolde (209197) | more than 13 years ago | (#192820)

This must be the absolutely last chance Quebec has at secession.

Re:yeah but (1)

The Troll Catcher (220464) | more than 13 years ago | (#192824)

But don't you need a certain amount of expertise and momentum to get out of earth orbit? ;)

yeah but (1)

canning (228134) | more than 13 years ago | (#192826)

"We have the expertise, it's highly visible, and there is momentum," Garneau said

Expertise and momentum don't pay the bills.

Murphy's Law of Copiers

Unite Forces ! (1)

scoopy (235199) | more than 13 years ago | (#192829)

Why does every country with some resources need a spaceprogram ? The benefits of space exploration belongs to al of the humanity, and we would be better of if we work on something together. Pride is worth nothing compared to getting the job done!

Re:Garneau said we need launch vehicle (2)

corvi42 (235814) | more than 13 years ago | (#192831)

Because Canada doesn't have anybody who is really an expert on building and operating launch vehicles, and the extra cost of pulling a team together and have them figure it out is much too much $$$. We build the probe, and hire someone else to shoot it up there.

Re:Vaporware (5)

corvi42 (235814) | more than 13 years ago | (#192832)

You say:
I'll believe it when I see it.

Your sig says:
Anything that can possibly happen, will eventually happen

I love irony.

Let's not forget the GST promise (1)

Sebby (238625) | more than 13 years ago | (#192833)

You know, the one they said they'd resign if they didn't live up to it.

Of couse, Sheila Copps did resign (after much pressure), only to be re-elected by the same people that elected her in the first place - go figure!

Hmmmm... (1)

Sebby (238625) | more than 13 years ago | (#192834)

The US$ at about 1.60 C$, times $500 mil...
Oh yeah! Let's double the debt!!!!

'Reports indicate the phase "All your atom are belong to us" was heard shortly before the blinding flash occured'

Re:Champ de Mars is in Quebec! (1)

HairyBN (252481) | more than 13 years ago | (#192836)

To be totally accurate there's a little park under the Eiffle tower in Paris called Champs de mars thats where it all starts.

There's also one in Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

And yes its a metro station in Montreal too.

French speaking people are consistent,hey!

about time... (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 13 years ago | (#192837)

but it is clear that the mission will be by default a collaborative effort between the CSA and another space organization with launch capabilities.

needless to say that Canada will most likly go to the US for the "organization with launch capabilities", but i think its about time Canada got into space. *SGDarkKnight tips his hat to Canada* good luck guys!

Now Calm Down People... (1)

CrazyLegs (257161) | more than 13 years ago | (#192838)

For all you non-Canadians in the room, you must be aware that ex-Astronauts in our country (like M. Garneau) all go to live in that Big Bureaucracy in the Sky when they retire. They get nice jobs with obscure, but nice, little gov't organizations. Their days are spend holding conferences with other nice, but obscure, little gov't organizations where they chatter on about Big Things, invent cute slogans, and issue press releases that get trotted out on slow news days. This is the Way of Things in Canada.

Canada will not go to Mars. Trust me on this. Now lets all go back to sleep and let the nice Canadian space heroes finish their speeches. Okay?

space program? (1)

anon757 (265661) | more than 13 years ago | (#192841)

Geez, I didnt even know we had a space agency!

New blood... (1)

crcerror (266157) | more than 13 years ago | (#192846)

It's good to see some new blood getting out there. I've read some interesting posts up here suggesting that Canada's internal politics may interfere with anything meaningful but I hope not. We need a new country mucking around with this stuff and getting out there. The more countries we have working on stuff the more chance we all have of doing something great as a species ;-)

More power to them!

Re:Canada as a spacefaring nation... (1) (317514) | more than 13 years ago | (#192866)

The Alliance between the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives will be there for sure...

Too Bad (1)

Whyzzi (319263) | more than 13 years ago | (#192868)

That money would be better spent on the International Space Station.

Take me to your leader, eh? (5)

Aerog (324274) | more than 13 years ago | (#192869)

I personally think that the plan to put something Canadian on Mars is a great idea, not only to enhance the reputation of Canada's space program on an international scene, but to also improve our facilities and techniques. Granted, I have serious doubts that it will be a manned mission for that kind of money, but the odds of possibly putting an unmanned probe on Mars are quite good, if only for a few reaons:
  • We are very used to the temperatures, in a country where the temperature can easily range anywhere from -40 to 40 in a single area of the country, and it can easily be colder or warmer elsewhere.
  • It's not like we're doing what Russia and the US did in the 60's. We have experience from all over the world to look back on and learn from.
  • If the Canadarm is any indication, Canadian space technology is fairly reliable.
  • No pesky conversions from/to metric.
  • The ability is there, just the funding is iffy.

It might just be talk, but then again, people thought that Kennedy was crazy when he promised a man on the moon.

Vaporware (5)

s20451 (410424) | more than 13 years ago | (#192872)

There is nothing of substance in the article - no mission plans, no dates, no nothing - just a catchy (and bilingual) slogan: Allons-y! Let's go to Mars, followed by a wish-list planning session. There's little about this to suggest that the maple leaf will be flying on Mars anytime soon. I'll believe it when I see it.

Re:Not manned (1)

index5 (412769) | more than 13 years ago | (#192875)

You forgot to mention: First to blow up ground crew watching a launch. First to kill flight crew in launch vehicle.

Re:Canada as a spacefaring nation... (1)

Krusher55 (414674) | more than 13 years ago | (#192877)

The do nothing Liberals never actually start anything so there is no need for us to bring in a new government to cancel anything. It is the secret to their success. Nobody will ever get angry at what you are doing (and vote for someone else) if you never actually do anything.

Re:Insightful Comment (1)

Krusher55 (414674) | more than 13 years ago | (#192878)

One of the funniest things I heard about NASA wasting money is they spend hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of dollars trying to develop a pen that would work in space. The Russians on the other hand decided to use pencils.

Re:NASA propaganda victim (1)

Krusher55 (414674) | more than 13 years ago | (#192879)

But when we wipe out the world with all those ICBMs space exploration is our only hope in finding another place to live.

Top ten items on Canada's space program to-do list (5)

President of The US (443103) | more than 13 years ago | (#192882)

10. Figure out how to make a space suit out of a hockey goalie uniform
9. Decision: "Cosmocanucks" or "Canadanauts"?
8. Have R&D figure out how to dehydrate beer and doughnuts
7. Finally get around to renting "Mission to Mars"
6. Find out if the Expos are willing to relocate to the Martian League
5. Be the first to design a canoe-shaped space vehicle
4. Screw it, eh? Let's go skiing at Whistler.
3. Make sure the vending machines on Mars don't take American quarters
2. Put Bob and Doug McKenzie into orbit
1. Finish exploring Canada!

Good idea (2)

spacefem (443435) | more than 13 years ago | (#192883)


1) It averages 40 below on Mars, that's a Canadian temperature if nothing else.

2) The US wouldn't laugh at them so much if they beat us to a standard. I'm not so sure why we do now, but that's another issue.

3) Send Tom Green there, damn I'd like to kill that guy.

It was a workshop (2)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 13 years ago | (#192886)

The way I read it, they didn't announce that they are going to Mars; they said they'd like to and then they asked a bunch of people at a workshop to play "what if" and "plan" a mission to Mars.

If you've ever been to these sort of workshops, you know what that means. A lot of people got to talk to other, mostly interesting people, and share a their enthusiasm for space, Canada, and (let's see, not Apple Pie, so probably hockey). I'll pet people wrote key points on over-sized post-it-notes. At the end they read their notes to each other, and clapped. I doubt if anyone did any math (or, if someone did, they did it quietly in a corner, while shaking their head).

-- MarkusQ

We don't need someone else's launchpad .. (1)

RU_on_weed (451255) | more than 13 years ago | (#192887)

we will build our own ...out of hockey pucks ..We will use newfie screech for fuel. Of course we will have to have room on the spacecraft for our dogsled teams..I mean how else will we get around MARS ?? :-)

Re:$500M?? (1)

RU_on_weed (451255) | more than 13 years ago | (#192888)

we are so ...we have a border and everything ...then again maybe Al Gore invented that too!! ;-) heh heh

It'll never work (5)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 13 years ago | (#192889)

They'll get all bogged down with referendums about how and when each rocket stage will seperate.

Excellent, the Canadians are motivated (1)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#192890)

It seems to me that NASA of late has gotten sort of unimpressive. The Mars probes have been - well, unspectacular - and ISS funding is always iffy. Frankly, the American people do not seem all that enthusiastic about space exploration (present company excluded, of course :-)).

Perhaps things will be different for the Canadians. The CSA is still relatively inexperienced, still experimenting. It reminds me a lot of NASA in the sixties, when even the average American citizen was saying "Man on moon! Man on moon!" If the Canadian government stays relatively consistant in space policy (a big if) and if there are no metric-english unit mistakes, I think the CSA could prove to be the upstart that revitalizes world-wide interest in space.

Good luck, people.

Well, at least... (1)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#192891)

Mexico has land near the equator, so they could set up an equatorial launch facility easily. They also have oil, and a complete lack of environmental or labor laws that would make the manufactoring of spacecraft a lot cheaper and faster. Hmm...

Space is useful (1)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#192892)

Actually, Sir, space exploration is one of the most useful programs the United States has ever undertaken. It's lead to advances in computer technology, military hardware, navigation (ever use GPS? How do you think the sattelites got up there?), communication (Iridium, satellite TV, satellite Internet access) weather monitoring (satellites,) monitoring of global warming, potential space-based medicine manufacturing, potential space-based power stations - I could go on for hour about the things space exploration has done for the world. Suffice to say that only war has advanced technology faster than space exploration. And unlike war, space is not a waste of money.

That'll never happen... (1)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#192893)

...for two reasons.
1.) Space programs usually have a strong military influence. The US-Soviet space race was really just a demonstration of the two contries' ability to lob nukes around the world, and put a military base on the Moon from which to lauch additional nukes. Countries generally like to keep military things internal.
2.) National pride. People like to sing "I did it my way", without anyone else's help.
Personally, I agree with you, but large-scale unity won't happen for a while yet. I don't count the ISS, because it's really just a collection of modules that were made by nation's individually.

Same thing in the USA (2)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#192894)

Uh, we have the same problem in the USA. In fact, we have it worse. Our president looks suspiciously like a chimpanzeee (take a look at and our congress is now being run by Democrats who will block everything Bush tries to do, and Bush in turn will squash any democratic bills whatsoever.

You think you have it bad because you can't decide on a space program. We're lucky if we can all agree on what "space" is! You think the idea of Canada as a spacefaring nation is laughable - I say that it's the idea of the US as a serious space power that is laughable. We're just coasting, not innovating.

Wait a second, that might work... (2)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 13 years ago | (#192895)

I just had a thought...why not send resupply flights after a manned Mars spacecraft? If the manned ship didn't have to carry all its consumables, it could be made cheaper and smaller. Could they launch unmanned supply ships after the manned vessel? Some of those could be designed to go faster than the manned ship and overtake it every few months, while others could be sent on a different orbit to meet the manned vessel at Mars. We already have the technology to send fairly large payloads such as probes to Mars - could we do this?

freeze dried backbacon (1)

ubugly2 (454850) | more than 13 years ago | (#192897)'s aboot time.....
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account