France: European Space Agency (ESA) and Canada signed a new cooperation agreement between that will extend their partnership for a further 10 years, until 2020. This is the fifth consecutive Agreement between ESA and Canada. Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA, and Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency, signed the agreement.
ESA and Canada have joined forces in telecommunications, including Olympus, Artemis and Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES); Earth observation, including ERS, Envisat and Global Monitoring for Environment & Security (GMES); navigation, including Galileo; and related technologies, such as the General Support Technology Programme.
ESA and Canada are also both involved on a multilateral or global scale. They are two of the five partners in the International Space Station and key players in the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
The partnership dates back to the beginning of the European space programme. In the early 1970s, ESA and Canada started working together in the telecommunications area, jointly developing the Communications Technology Satellite.
Based on that success, they intensified their collaboration and the first cooperation agreement between ESA and the Government of Canada was signed in 1979. Since then, Canada has been a closely cooperating state with ESA, which allows Canada to contribute to ESA programmes as a Participating State.