The space race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War is arguably the most famous international rivalry in modern history. Few, however, are aware that Canada was also an early contender in space exploration. Indeed, in 1962, Canada bested the more powerful United Kingdom to become the third nation to reach outer space.
In Defence and Discovery, Andrew Godefroy presents the first comprehensive examination of the origins, development, and impact of Canada’s space program. Drawing on newly declassified archival sources and a wealth of secondary material, Godefroy puts Canada’s early space research into context and demonstrates the central role of military enterprise in these endeavours. He also reveals the technological, political, and strategic implications of the country’s early innovation in space-research technology, and its subsequent turn from this arena.
Most nations have proudly documented their efforts in space exploration, but historians of Canada have been slow to delve into this important era. Defence and Discovery opens the records, illuminating a highly secretive and significant period in the country’s military and strategic history.
Military historians, political scientists, policy analysts, and those with an interest in the history of government, technology, and public administration will welcome this comprehensive overview of a key period in Canadian military and strategic history.
Godefroy meticulously plots Canada’s involvement in space research... it is an extremely well-researched and well-written historical analysis, that will most likely appeal to those interested in Canadian scientific achievements such as the Avro Arrow.
Godefroy’s relentless pursuit of the details of the history of Canada’s military space program has resulted in a profoundly original work that makes a significant contribution not only to the history of science and technology, but also to international history more generally ... non-specialists will have to work to get through this book, and I fear that too many Canadians might not have the patience to do so ... that is a real shame, because if they were to learn even half as much as I have, they would be significantly better placed to participate in discussions of international policy in Canada in the future.
Godefroy has translated his lifelong fascination with space and his expertise, garnered from working in the Canadian Force’s Directorate of Space Development, into a fascinating story of Canada’s important contributions to defence on the ‘final frontier.
Andrew Godefroy does a terrific job of presenting a very complicated story ... Quest readers, in particular those interested in military space history which generally focuses on the American and Soviet programs, will find this book breaking new ground.
Extremely well-researched and written, Defence and Discovery brings together existing pieces of the story of Canada’s space effort into a comprehensive historical analysis, through access to new primary archival material. Godefroy demonstrates a mastery of the technical-scientific elements of Canada’s initial space research and development programs, and delves into the political-bureaucratic forces at play, as well.
Space security and the formation of good policy frameworks is a critically important field of study; Godefroy is one of its key analysts in Canada, and his is the first study published of this magnitude. Defence and Discovery will appeal to military historians, Canadian Security analysts, and policy-makers, as well as to educated general readers who follow stories like the demise of the Avro Arrow.
1 Cold War Security and Aerospace Defence Research Prior to Sputnik
2 Missiles, Rocketry, and the Development of the Black Brant Launcher
3 Defence and Discovery: Canada’s Early Space Policies
4 Forging a Spacefaring Nation: The Alouette-ISIS Program
5 The Militarization and Weaponization of Space in Canada
6 The Demise of Canada’s Cold War Space Programs
7 National Interests and a New Agenda for Outer Space
Appendix; Note on Sources; Notes; Bibliography; Index
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