John H. Chapman

Father of the Canadian space program

Born: 28 August 1921 in London, Ontario
Died: 28 September 1979 in Vancouver, British Columbia

John Herbert Chapman received his Master of Science degree from McGill University and went to work for the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment. From 1958 to 1971, he guided the Alouette / ISIS satellite programs. When Alouette I was launched in September of 1962, Canada became the third country to reach space, after the Soviets and the Americans.

In 1966, Dr. Chapman was appointed chairman of a team studying the upper atmosphere and space programs in Canada. The result of the study, known as the Chapman Report, changed the focus of Canada's space program from scientific to applications satellites.

In honour of Dr. Chapman's tireless efforts to promote and advance Canada's space programs, the headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency was renamed to the John H. Chapman Space Centre on 2 October 1996. The CSA also hands out the John H. Chapman Award of Excellence to recognize outstanding achievement in space science and technology.

More information on:

Canadian Space Agency


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Added 14 April 2002.