Government of Canada Recognizes Satellite Programme's historical significance

OTTAWA, May 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable John Baird, Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister and the Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean, today unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the Alouette 1 Satellite Programme as a national historic event.

"The creation of the Alouette 1 Satellite Programme was the beginning of Canada's hugely successful space programme," said Minister Baird. "I am pleased to commemorate the national importance of this outstanding historical event."

The ceremony at the Communications Research Centre Canada celebrated the pioneering technological and scientific success that made the Alouette 1 project a major milestone in Canada's history. Since these early days of the space programme, Canadian-made instruments and technology, and Canadian astronauts have launched into space, advancing communication, Earth observation, and scientific research for the benefit of all Canadians.

At the time, the main mode of communication with northern and remote locations in Canada reflected high frequency radio transmissions off the ionosphere, a complex layer of ionized gas high above the Earth. In order to work well, this system requires a predictable ionosphere; but over Canada, the ionosphere is unpredictable. Alouette 1 was launched to study this layer of the atmosphere from above. The satellite lasted ten years and produced more than one million ionograms, or scans, that provided detailed data on the structure of the ionosphere. Analysis of the data revealed many new features of the ionosphere and clarified the limitations of high-frequency radio communications in Canada.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at under Media Room.

SOURCE Parks Canada

For further information: For further information: James Kusie, Director of Issues Management, Office of Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, (613) 991-0700; Ms. Pam Buell, Manager of External Relations, Eastern Ontario Field Unit, Parks Canada, (613) 283-7199 extension 219

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