Newsflash: Canada has a space program?

I heard on the CBC this morning how Canada is going to get in on that sweet, sweet moonbase action. (Reuters happens to mention all the other countries that are also interested in staking their claim.) It reminded me of the fact that Canada actually HAS a space agency, whose one notable claim to fame so far has been the Canadarm.

NASA is excited about Canada's involvement, based apparently on their belief that Canadians inhabit a vast, frozen and featureless wasteland.

James Oberg , a 22-year NASA scientist who is now an analyst, said that Canada also brings the knowledge needed to work in a lunar environment which, if certain assumptions bear out, will include both soil and ice.

"Ice and soil together are much worse for drilling than either ice or water alone," said Mr. Oberg, who now runs the website jamesoberg.com. "Canadians have been pioneering those activities . . . and Canada is in a unique position to assist with that."

I only hope when the Moonbase finally gets up and running in about 16 years that it will be half as cool as we've always imagined... and that they don't have to end up buying it from the Russians... and that the spacemen are prepared for the unique dangers the moon poses, harsh mistress that she is.

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