This Week: Space Race

Senior Editor Taylor Owen sums up the week that was on

By: /
1 March, 2013
Taylor Owen
By: Taylor Owen

Founder and Publisher of and Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at UBC

The Canadian military launched their first satellite into orbit this week. The dishwasher-sized Sapphire will improve “Canada’s space situational awareness” by tracking the roughly 20,000 objects larger than 10 centimetres across currently circling the earth to better prevent collisions between them.

Of course, preventing accidental collisions is one thing. Preventing a belligerent foreign country from targeting your satellites is something altogether different. That’s why the EU has proposed a new “code of conduct” to reinforce the rules keeping weapons out of space. Other international actors, however, seem cool to the idea, says Paul Meyer.

Back on earth, the Canadian Forces brass seem less interested in boldly exploring new frontiers. Steve Saideman writes that trimming the budget, not preparing for the next war, has become the focus for the military.

But many Egyptians are keen to see their leader join the space race. Bessma Momani notes that an online campaign has begun to send Morsi to space. The president’s critics hope he will gain some perspective on Egypt’s many earthly troubles there.

And OpenCanada’s series on the future of sustainable development in partnership with the North-South Institute continues with Derek Evans arguing that we need new goals that better reflect the changing nature of global poverty, while John Sinclair thinks that different countries need different goals.

Failure to Launch?
Paul Meyer on why the European Union’s proposed International Code of Conduct for Outer Space is running low on diplomatic fuel.

New Development Goals For a New World
Derek Evans on how the nature of global poverty has changed, and why the post-2015 MDGs need to reflect that change.

One Size Only, One Global Customer?
John Sinclair on why universality and tiering should be part of the post-2015 Millennium Development Goal conversation.

Keystone Uber Alles?
Steve Saideman on why neither Canadian domestic policy nor Canadian-U.S. relations begin and end with the Keystone pipeline.

The Weight of History in the Arctic
Shelagh Grant on why the history of the Arctic is relevant to today’s debates over the future of Arctic sovereignty.

The Budget Military
Steve Saideman on how spending decisions may dictate the makeup of the Canadian Forces.

Why Egypt Needs Space from Morsi
Bessma Momani discusses the growing disconnect between President Mohamed Morsi and the Egyptian people.

David Souter on the Development-Technology Disconnect
OpenCanada talked to the Managing Director of ICT Development Associates about how the spread of new communication technologies are challenging understandings of sustainability.

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