1 oz. Fine Silver Coin – 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency | New Coin Releases

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25th Anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) which saw first light in 1989. The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) has released a limited edition commemorative coin to celebrate this milestone in Canada’s space history.

25th Anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency

Unveiling of the coin at the 2014 International Astronautics Congress in Toronto. 

Photo Source: CNW Canada

The Coin

The 1 oz. Fine Silver Coin – 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency was unveiled at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre yesterday on the second day of the 65th International Astronautical Congress 2014. The silver coin ”… features an achromatic hologram image of a Canadian astronaut floating weightlessly above the Earth. The astronaut is anchored to a foot restraint on Canadarm2, which bears the Canada Wordmark. In the distance we see the cloud-mottled blue surface of Earth, backed by the black depths of space. The hologram lends depth and movement to the design; the astronaut seems to float above the Earth” (RCM Website). This while Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, is featured on the obverse of the four nines fine coin (99.99% pure silver coin). The coin will see a limited worldwide mintage of 10,000 coins and is only the second achromatic hologram coin to be released by the RCM. The first achromatic hologram coin released by the RCM, a world first, is the Canada 2013 $20 Hologram Superman & Metropolis 1oz Fine Silver Coin that was released last year (2013) by the mint.

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1 oz. Fine Silver Coin – 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency – Reverse

Photo Source: Royal Canadian Mint

In addition to the above, the 1 oz. Fine Silver Coin – 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency has a proof finish, weighs 31.39 grams, has a diameter of 38 mm, a face value of CAD $20, a serrated edge and comes in a RCM-branded clamshell with a spaced-themed graphic beauty box. This not even to mention the serialized certificate and the fact that artist Susanna Blunt designed the obverse of the coin.

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1 oz. Fine Silver Coin – 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency – RCM-branded clamshell

Photo Source: Royal Canadian Mint

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1 oz. Fine Silver Coin – 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency – Spaced-themed graphic beauty box

Photo Source: Royal Canadian Mint

The CSA

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), or known in French as the Agence spatiale canadienne (CSA), was formed on March 1, 1989 by the Canadian Space Agency Act, which received Royal Assent the following year in May.

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Photo Source: CSA

The CSA headquarters is located in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, at the John H. Chapman Space Centre, while the agency also has offices in other parts of Canada. The CSA plays a pivotal role in Canada’s space ventures today, but was not the beginning of Canada’s push into the upper atmosphere and space. Canada already undertook, although on a limited scale, a number of ventures into space between 1945 and 1960. The relevant projects, under the auspices of defense research, involved a “series of advanced studies examining both orbital rendezvous and re-entry” (Wikipedia). One such project, the S-27 or the Topside Sounder Project, saw first light in 1957 under the leadership of John H. Chapman. He led a team of engineers and scientists at the Canadian Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment (DRTE). Their work led to the development of Alouette 1, Canada’s first satellite, which was launched into space in September 1962, making Canada the 3rd country to put an artificial satellite into space.

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Photo Source: CNET

What is interesting is the fact that Alouette 1 had to be launched by NASA, the American space agency, from Vandenberg AFB in California. The reason for this was due to the fact that Canada only had upper atmospheric launch capabilities or sounding rockets at the time. Despite this shortcoming in terms of launch capabilities, the satellite itself was an object of Canadian technical excellence, especially considering that it lasted 10 years instead of the expected one. This encouraged the additional “…study of the ionosphere with the Canadian-designed, US-launched, international ISIS program. This undertaking was designated an International Milestone of Electrical Engineering by IEEE in 1993. The launch of Anik A-1 in 1972 made Canada the first country in the world to establish its own domestic geostationary communication satellite network” (Wikipedia).

The above and other space related ventures in the 1980s led to the establishment of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), which has the mandate “…to promote the peaceful use and development of space, to advance the knowledge of space through science and to ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians. The Canadian Space Agency’s mission statement says that the agency is committed to leading the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity” (Wikipedia). The agency employs about 575 people today and has an annual budget of CAD $488.7 million (2013-2014). Be sure to get more information regarding the CSA at their website.