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space mining 22 DECEMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018 a government entity, Space Resources, to fund commercial space startups. Its en- couraging stance on space mining is a clear sign that they are aggressively seeking to retain that position in commercial space. In less than a year their funding has been wildly successful, by attracting the second offices of both Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries. Space Resources also acts as an anchor investor in two other international companies dedicated to space mining, Blue Horizon from Ger- many, and ispace from Japan. Forests, fisheries and space mining While there is profound expertise housed in Canada in both mining and space, a Ca- nadian space-mining effort is noticeably absent. This is surprising given that Canada has been at the forefront of mining since Confederation; it still ranks in the top five for production of most minerals and 57 per cent of global mining financing was done on the TSX & TSXV in 2016. In addition to commercial power, there is a nationwide community of well-supported intellectual capital, including a robust venture research institute, the Center for Excellence in Min- ing Innovation (CEMI), the Canadian Mining Innovation Council (CMIC), a Provincial mining cluster in Ontario, and over $500M in annual R&D expenditures from private industry. Similarly, Canada punches far above its weight in the space industry. While Canada has had traditionally lower invest- ment levels (overall and per GDP) in its history, it boasts world-leading expertise in systems critical for successful space min- ing. Canada's space robotics expertise is unparalleled, with CANADARM being the most famous example. In addition, Canada is the world leader for space-based remote sensing, designing and operating RADARSAT. Expertise in both will be re- quired to solve some of the most difficult challenges in space mining. However, these elements have not been brought together to create a Canadian presence in space mining, despite several investments made by Canada. The Ca- nadian Space Agency (CSA), provided a $700,000 investment to Deltion Innova- tions to develop a percussive and rotary multipurpose tool (PROMPT), or "the Swiss Army knife" for space mining. Simi- larly, the CSA has provided a laser altime- ter for NASA's OSIRIS-Rex mission. The altimeter will use space sensing to create a 3D map of the asteroid prior to landing, essential for mission success and with ex- cellent future commercial purposes. But a handful of inventions is not enough if Canada is to get serious about space mining. The opportunity, though, is clear if the country could wed two of its most iconic and competitive industries. These industries both face dynamic threats to their legacy positions and a national space mining initiative can aid innovation on Earth and in space. Yet, that conver- sation hasn't begun in earnest in Canada. Nor has there been a concerted effort to attract international companies and rec- ognize Canada's potential as a partner for space mining despite our highly competi- tive industrial capabilities. The MX-1E robotic lander. Image: Moon Express DSI Comet-1 CubeSat Water Thruster. Image: Deep Space Industries (DSI)

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