We agree not to do the thing we lack all capability to do

9/9/2009 – WASHINGTON (AFNS) — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Canadian Space Agency President Steve MacLean signed a framework agreement Wednesday for cooperative activities in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.  Canadian Ambassador to the United States Michael Wilson hosted the signing at the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

…The framework agreement is an important step in an evolving process toward a coordinated and comprehensive approach to exploration and use of outer space. It sets forth general terms and conditions that will be applied to future cooperative projects and facilitates expanded cooperation between the U.S. and Canada on a range of activities related to human spaceflight, exploration, space science and Earth science.

“U.S. and Canada sign agreement on civil space cooperation.”  Air Force News Service, 09 September 2009.

I don’t get it.  It is not as if we could loft orbital death stars even if we wanted to.

Practically speaking anything Canada does in space has to have the tacit approval of the United States or Europe, because Canada has no heavy lift boosters and no launch sites to loft them from.  Every single Canadian astronaut and all Canadian satellites over 140 kg (308 lbs) have ridden to orbit on an American or European booster.  To be blunt, if they don’t like the payload, it’s not getting to orbit.

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