The Canadian government is to boost its support for research of space technologies, Governor General Michaelle Jean said Wednesday in a speech to open parliament.
"Canada has been a space faring nation for 50 years," Jean said in the Speech from the Throne -- an address that traditionally opens every session of the Canadian parliament.
"Our government will extend support for advanced research, development and prototyping of new space-based technologies," she said.
As well, Ottawa is to relax rules to encourage more venture capital and foreign investment in key sectors, including its satellite and telecommunications industries, she said.
Canada's space program is administered by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), which has traditionally worked closely with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
With the launch of Alouette 1 in 1962 Canada became the third country to put a satellite into space. It was scheduled to orbit the Earth for one year, but remained in use for 10.
Since then, Canadian astronauts and technologies such as the robotic Canadarms have often rocketed into space aboard US space shuttles, first in 1984.
More and more, however, the CSA is linking up with the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Indian Space Research Organization to reach for the stars.
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