Maple Leaf in Orbit: Institutionalizing the Canadian Space Program, 1984–1995
The success of Canada’s space program in the first half of the 1980s was largely the result of the country’s increased bilateral space cooperation with the United States. High-profile projects such as the shuttle’s Canadarm and the flight of Marc Garneau brought considerable public attention and praise to the program, in turn boosting government support for Canadian space activities at a time when the criticism the government faced over other American bilateral space cooperation may have seriously curbed such endeavors. Public opposition to Canadian participation in American military space efforts such as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), for example, had little impact on other non-military cooperative ventures. While the government seriously debated Canada’s position and policy towards the American SDI in 1985–1986, the ICS was at that time busy finalizing plans for Canada’s future participation in the American Space Station Freedom project now scheduled to begin in the early 1990s. Such initiatives were a demonstration of how both Canadian nationalism and internationalism could work in outer space, despite the presence of some political friction between the two partners on Earth.