Space Day 2019 at the Royal Military College of Canada

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On 30 April, the Department of Physics and Space Science at the Royal Military College of Canada hosted Space Day 2019. What is Space Day? Event Organizers Drs. Gregg Wade, Kristine Spekkens and Ron Vincent envisioned a day in which Officer Cadets would be exposed to space initiatives taking place in Canada and the important role of space in the defence of Canada. Whether you are using GPS, satellite communications, or remote sensing products, space is ubiquitous in the Canadian Armed Forces and ties together Air, Sea and Land elements. Awareness of space assets and capabilities is important for military officers and formed the theme of the Space Day concept. In order to fulfill the goal of the event, two high-profile Ex-Cadets were invited to deliver public lectures and interact with Officer Cadets: Mr. Sylvain Laporte, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Lieutenant-Colonel Catherine Marchetti, Director of Space Strategy and Plans at DG Space.

In the morning session, Mr. Laporte engaged the audience with a presentation of exciting projects currently being undertaken at CSA. Mr. Laporte’s talk included a discussion of the interplay between the operational, technological, and scientific aspects of the CSA’s mandate, highlighting defence-related aspects. The afternoon session featured an illuminating presentation by Lieutenant-Colonel Catherine Marchetti on the Canadian Defence Space Program, which discussed the breadth and depth of space activities in the defence of Canada. Captain Brad Croteau from DGSpace also shared the path that led him to work in the space domain for the Canadian Armed Forces. After each of the public lectures, Officer Cadets were provided an opportunity to interact directly with both distinguished guests during an extended face-to-face question-and-answer period.

Space Day 2019 provided a unique opportunity for Officer Cadets to get a front-row view into the world of space, from both civilian and military perspectives. The organizers are grateful to the time dedicated by Mr. Laporte and Lieutenant-Colonel Marchetti in giving the presentations and interacting with the students on a personal level. The Department of Physics and Space Science is dedicated to the promotion of space within CSA and in Canada, and envisions that there will be further successful Space Days in the future.

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