Maple leaf to the moon: Canadian Space Agency introduces new logo

March 16, 2023

— When the first Canadian astronaut to launch to the moon lifts off on NASA’s next Artemis mission, he or she will do so with a new symbol of Canada’s space effort.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) introduced a new logo on Thursday (March 16) to reflect the growing role of the country’s space program.

“An exciting era of space exploration is unfolding before us, and the CSA is seeking to enter this new chapter with a modern identifier,” the agency said in a statement. “The Canadian Space Agency is modernizing its visual identity with a new simplified logo.”

The new brand has two main elements.

At the top is the maple leaf, Canada’s national emblem. According to CSA, the magazine “instills pride and a sense of belonging” in addition to its association with the country as it is known around the world.

The maple leaf also gives the impression of flying.

It symbolizes “bold inventions and our eyes set on the future, poised to push the boundaries of ingenuity and innovation,” CSA’s description read.

Behind the maple leaf are three stars, which in the most basic interpretation are a representation of space. The stars are also intended to convey genius, intelligence and expertise, as well as the strength of the community, including all those involved in the Canadian space program, including industry, scientists, academia and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). .

A circular version of the logo also features the agency’s full, spelled out name at the top in English and at the bottom in French (“Agence Spatiale Canadienne”).

In 2019, CSA entered into a new agreement to help develop the Gateway, a human-powered research and logistics platform in lunar orbit. For its part, CSA and its industry partners are developing a new robotic system that will help with repairs and maintenance on the first mini-space station on the moon.

Dubbed “Canadar3,” the new arm builds on Canada’s legacy of providing the original Canadarm for the space shuttle and Canadarm2, which is still in use today on the International Space Station.

CSA is also developing the country’s first robotic lunar rover, which will assist in the international search for water ice in the lunar soil in collaboration with NASA.

In return for these contributions, NASA reserved a seat for a CSA astronaut on its first manned mission to fly around the moon in more than 50 years. The identities of the Artemis II crew members will be announced April 3 at an event at NASA’s Ellington Field, near the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“Just over the moon to see Canada as the sole partner flying on this historic first mission with NASA,” Joshua Kurtyk, one of four active CSA astronauts in consideration for the seat on Artemis II, wrote in a post. on social media. “Our unique innovative, exploratory and pioneering spirit at work, and a direct link to Canada’s future prosperity and security.”

CSA’s new logo replaces an earlier design first introduced on November 4, 1996. The now-retired brand also featured a maple leaf, but instead of distracting from the emblem, it was positioned below a stylized horizon with the sun’s rays reflecting extending from behind and a vector extending into a four-pointed star (of the same style on the new logo). Instead of the full name, the Canadian Space Agency’s English and French acronyms (“CSA” and “ASC”) appeared in italics below the maple leaf.

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