The first female president of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) was appointed at a critical moment, when the private space sector threatens to challenge government programs. The CSA is responsible for managing all of Canada’s civil space-related activities, including our participation in the International Space Station and astronaut missions, as well as operating satellites and developing space technologies that can eventually be used back on Earth. Since joining the agency in September, Campbell has been looking forward to helping Canadians “understand ourselves, our planet and our universe.”
What she’s proudest of this year
“Applying for the CSA was a long, competitive process, as it should be. When I got the job, the first people I told were my kids, and they were thrilled. To celebrate, I went on a century ride.
When it comes to the global space sector, we are really in a new era. We’re seeing economy, technology and science coming together as never before. Space is the catalyst for invention because it tests all of our existing beliefs; it’s a completely new environment, so it makes science better and it pushes the limits of what’s possible. Part of our mandate at the agency is to create opportunities so that we have a vibrant, sustainable space sector to carry out our vision for space exploration. And it’s got all sorts of benefits, not just for space. The data we get from lower orbits [through satellites that operate above the Earth’s surface] can help us with climate issues and other problems that we have here on Earth.”