The Canadian Space Agency will receive $80.9 million in federal money over the next five years, beginning in the 2017-2018 term.
The funding, announced in the Liberal government’s latest budget, will be used to design emerging technologies and fund new projects that include involvement in an orbital mission to Mars.
Ottawa hopes to develop an instrument that would be used to study the surface and subsurface of the red planet. It would help to construct a high-resolution map of the Mars surface and assist in identifying source of water.
Funding will also be invested in quantum technology, a project in partnership with the University of Waterloo.
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This technology could make communications safer, ensure the safe and reliable delivery of government services, and help protect the privacy of Canadians, according to a government statement.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau highlighted the investment while recalling his personal experience in space at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Montérégie.
As a former astronaut, Garneau said he understands the importance of innovation in the space sector and this funding will help the Canadian Space Agency look to the future of space exploration.