OTD: Canadian Space Agency founded

On today’s date in 1990, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) – the organization committed to leading the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity – was founded under the Canadian Space Agency Act.

Throughout the 1980s, a variety of groundbreaking space-related activities compelled the Canadian government to promote the Canadian Space Agency Act, which came into effect on Dec. 14, 1990 after receiving royal assent on May 10, 1990.

In 2014, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a $20 Fine silver coin marking the 25th anniversary of the CSA. This half-ounce silver coin features an achromatic hologram that brings the CSA’s work to life. The coin was unveiled at the International Astronautical Congress 2014 held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Left to right: Astronaut David Saint-Jacques; Royal Canadian Mint Board of Directors member John Bell; astronaut Jeremy Hansen; and Canadian Space Agency President Walter Natynczyk unveil a $20 Fine silver coin celebrating the agency’s 25th anniversary at the 2014 International Astronautics Congress in Toronto.

“Whether they are flying among the stars or planted firmly on the ground, the Mint takes great pride in commemorating Canada’s diverse and remarkable achievements,” said Marc Brûlé, then-interim president and CEO of the Mint. “This special coin features exceptional holographic technology which is a fitting tribute to the CSA, as it has been synonymous with innovation since 1989.”

The coin’s reverse design features an achromatic hologram of a Canadian astronaut floating weightlessly above 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.

“This year marks a milestone in Canada’s space history as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the CSA,” said General (Retired) Walter Natynczyk, then-president of the CSA. “Our many accomplishments have built the foundation for a flourishing space industry and we are absolutely delighted that the Mint has captured Canada’s leadership in space with such expert craftsmanship.”

This $20 Fine silver coin has a weight of 31.39 grams; a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 10,000 coins.

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