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

March 16, 2023 — When the first Canadian astronaut to launch to the moon takes off on NASA’s next Artemis mission, he or she will do so wearing a new symbol of Canada’s efforts in space.

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

“An exciting era of space exploration is unfolding before us, and CSA seeks to enter this new chapter with a modern identification symbol,” a statement from the agency read. “The Canadian Space Agency modernizes its visual identity with a new simplified logo.”

The new brand contains two main elements.

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

The maple leaf also gives the impression of flying.

It symbolizes “bold invention and our gaze on the future, ready to push the boundaries of ingenuity and innovation,” read CSA’s description.

Following the maple leaf are three stars, which in its most basic interpretation are a representation of space. The stars are also meant to convey brilliance, intelligence and excellence, as well as the strength of the community, which includes all those involved in Canada’s space program, including industry, scientists, academia and STEM organizations (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). .

A circular version of the logo also includes the full, spelled name of the agency wrapped around the top in English and in French (“Agence Spatiale Canadienne”) at the bottom.

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

Dubbed “Canadarm3,” the new arm builds on Canada’s legacy of supplying the original Canadarm to the Space Shuttle and Canadarm2, which is still in use on the International Space Station.

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

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

“Over the moon proud to see Canada as the one partner flying this historic first mission with NASA,” Joshua Kurtyk, one of CSA’s four active-duty astronauts eligible 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 mark also featured a maple leaf, but instead of leading from the emblem, it was placed below a stylized horizon with the sun’s rays stretching himself from behind and a vector extending to a four-pointed star (of the same style on the new logo). Instead of its 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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