The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded a contract worth $1.35 million to Neptec Design Group to continue work on Canada's contribution to ASTRO-H, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA's) next-generation space observatory, scheduled to be launched in late 2015.
Neptec is building the Canadian ASTRO-H Metrology System (CAMS), which is an innovative measuring system that will help better calibrate the observatory's main telescope and significantly enhance the images it captures.
In return for this critical piece of hardware, Canada has secured three positions on the mission's Science Working Group to gain privileged access to the data and allow Canadian astronomers the opportunity to propose science investigations for the observatory to carry out.
Canada's contribution to the ASTRO-H observatory is aligned with several of the principles of Canada's Space Policy Framework, announced in February: it promotes Canadian innovation by positioning our domestic space industry at the forefront of cutting-edge space activities in optics, and it strengthens a strategic relationship with an international partner in the interest of science and technology.
"Canada is a world leader in optics and space vision systems. Our contribution to this next-generation observatory will further show that our expertise is second to none, and the access it gives us presents new scientific opportunities. In developing Canada's contribution to ASTRO-H, Neptec Design Group will draw on its extensive experience in space vision technology, including systems that were used on over 40 space shuttle missions and over a dozen International Space Station missions."
- General (Retired) Walter Natynczyk, Canadian Space Agency President
"Neptec is very pleased to be part of the Canadian team involved in this exciting JAXA mission. We anticipate that the technology we developed for this mission will be the core of future Neptec products, which will be exported to international space agencies."
- Mike Kearns, President, Space Systems, Neptec Design Group
Source: Canadian Space Agency
Date: Apr 24, 2014