Roles and leadership

Canada was an early adopter of space capabilities and was the third state to become space-faring with the launch of Alouette I, a Defence research satellite launched in 1962 to study the impact of the ionosphere on radio communications.

Today, Canada has over 50 active commercial, civil, and military satellites in orbit which are essential to the Canadian Armed Forces's (CAF) mission.


The RCAF is the authority for the Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) Joint and Combined Space program for the Canadian Armed Forces. The RCAF is responsible for

  • space domain awareness
  • development, delivery and assurance of space-based capabilities in support of military operations both at home and abroad
  • other space objectives outlined in Canada’s Defence Policy. This includes defending and protecting military space capabilities, including in collaboration with its allies and partners.

Space capabilities are critical for the day-to-day life of Canadians as well as for CAF operations. However, they are also increasingly vulnerable and threatened. With the emergence of new space technologies and the growing number of actors interested in the space domain, the space environment is becoming more congested, contested, and competitive, making it an increasingly difficult environment in which to operate. RCAF is leading efforts within DND/CAF to enhance the resilience of the space capabilities upon which our military rely for critical operations and ensure the continued delivery of space-based services.

Director General Space and Joint Force Space Component Commander

BGen Michael Adamson

BGen Michael Adamson

Brigadier-General Michael Adamson assumed the role of RCAF Director General Space and the Joint Force Space Component Commander in June 2020. As Director General Space, he oversees the administrative functions of the Space enterprise for the CAF. This includes the generation and development of personnel and strategic engagements. As Joint Force Space Component Commander, he is responsible for the delivery and use of space capabilities (force employment) and those personnel who work in the Canadian Space Operations Centre (CANSpOC) to enable operations.

Director General Air and Space Force Development

BGen Colin Keiver

BGen Colin Keiver

Brigadier-General Colin Keiver is responsible for the identification and establishment of projects that will advance CAF’s capabilities through space-based and space-oriented capabilities.

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