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Executive Team and Points of Contact

CASTOR has been designed and developed in an dynamic, decade-long partnership between academia, industry and government agencies. The executive team will continue to evolve as the mission moves towards an anticipated launch in the mid- to late-2020s. For more information on the mission, please contact:

Core Science Team

The CASTOR core science team is responsible for high-level science planning and optimization, including overall mission science requirements. Their broad science expertise is bolstered by eight Science Working Groups, covering a wide range of topics in astrophysics, that provide input to the science and technical teams on key science drivers and performance specifications, including trade studies bearing on the mission design.

Engineering Team

CASTOR contracts are managed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), which also contributies programmatic, technical and scientific expertise to the development of the mission.


Past engineering and technical work for CASTOR has been carried out by an industrial team led by Honeywell Aerospace, which has been responsible for the high-level mission architecture and implementation plan. Honeywell has extensive experience in mission analysis, design and implementation, having most recently designed, built and tested the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and NIRISS instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership between NASA, CSA and ESA.


Magellan Aerospace has led efforts focused on the satellite bus, launch options, and altitude determination and control subsystems. Magellan has a rich and distinguished history in the design and manufacture of aerospace systems and components. Most recently, Magellan was responsible for the satellite bus of the Radarsat Constellation Mission that was launched in 2019 — a major component of Canada's space plan.

ABB Aerospace has led development of the optical chain and ground support network. ABB specializes in custom optical instrumentation for space, military and research applications, and recently delivered the SITELLE — the world's premier hyperspectral imager for astronomical applications — to the Canada France Hawaii Telescope.

The National Research Council's Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre provides supplementary expertise in detectors and opto-mechanics. NRC-Herzberg is responsible for operation and instrument design for Canada's astronomical observatories, and has a long and distinguished history in the design and fabrication of instruments for JCMT, CFHT, ALMA, Gemini and other leading facilities.

Additional work on detectors and electronics is being provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is also contributing scientific, programmatic and operational expertise. JPL is arguably the world's foremost research facility for robotic space and Earth science missions.

Science Working Groups


Peter Capak (IPAC/Caltech), Olivier Doré (JPL), Sebastien Fabbro (NRC-Herzberg), Melissa Graham (Washington), Catherine Heymans (ROE), Elisabeth Krause (Arizona), Dustin Lang (Toronto), Thibaud Moutard (St. Mary's), Laura Parker (McMaster) Will Percival (Waterloo), Jason Rhodes (JPL), Marcin Sawicki (St. Mary's) Bryan Scott (UC Riverside), Melanie Simet (Caltech), Ludo van Waerbeke (UBC)

Galaxies and Cosmic Star Formation:

Roberto Abraham (Toronto), Michael Balogh (Waterloo), Ivana Damjanov (St. Mary's), Andreas Faisst (Caltech), Martin Hellmich (St. Mary's), John Hutchings (NRC-Herzberg), Ikuru Iwata (Subaru-NAOJ), Janice Lee (IPAC), Deborah Lokhorst (Toronto), Sean McGee (Birmingham), Thibaud Moutard (St. Mary's), Adam Muzzin (York), Nathalie Ouellette (Montreal), Laura Parker (McMaster), Ruben Sanchez-Janssen (STFC/ROE), Marcin Sawicki (St. Mary's), David Sobral (Lancaster), Harry Teplitz (IPAC)

Time Domain Astrophysics:

Ray Carlberg (Toronto), Maria Drout (Toronto), Sebastien Fabbro (NRC-Herzberg), Sarah Gallagher (Western), Melissa Graham (Washington), Daryl Haggard (McGill), John Hutchings (NRC-Herzberg), Renée Hlozek (Dunlap), Christian Marois (NRC-Herzberg), Sean McGee (Birmingham), Cherry Ng (Dunlap), Tina Peters (Dunlap), Greg Sivakoff (Alberta), Kim Venn (Victoria)

Supermassive Black Holes, AGNs & Galactic Nuclei:

Sarah Gallagher (Western), Luigi Gallo (St. Mary's), Daryl Haggard (McGill), Pat Hall (York), Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo (Montreal), John Hutchings (NRC-Herzberg), Viraja Khatu (Western), Gordon Richards (Drexel), Jesse Rogerson (Ingenium), John Ruan (Bishop's), Nathalie Thibert (St. Mary's), Chris Willott (NRC-Herzberg)

Near-Field Cosmology:

Jo Bovy (Toronto), Patrick Côté (NRC-Herzberg), Nick Fantin (Victoria), Carl Grillmair (IPAC), Julio Navarro (Victoria), Kristine Spekkens (RMC), Else Starkenburg (Potsdam), Guillaume Thomas (Instituto de Astrofisic de Canarias), David Valls-Gabaud (Paris), Kim Venn (Victoria)

Stellar Astrophysics:

Maria Drout (Toronto), Laurent Drissen  (Laval), Patrick Dufour (Montreal), Vincent Henault-Brunet (NRC-Herzberg), Jeremy Heyl (UBC), Douglas Johnstone (NRC-Herzberg), Denis Leahy (Calgary), Hilding Neilsen (Toronto), Harvey Richer (UBC), Carmelle Robert (Laval), Samar Safi-Harb (Manitoba), Kim Venn (Victoria)


Björn Benneke (Montreal), Jessie Christiansen (IPAC), Nicolas Cowan (McGill), René Doyon (Montreal), Christian Marois (NRC-Herzberg), Kristen Menou (Toronto), Stan Metchev (Western), Jason Rowe (Bishop's)

Solar System:

Michele Bannister (Canterbury), Peter Brown (Western), Martin Connors (Athabasca), Wesley Fraser (QUB), Brett Gladman (UBC), JJ Kavelaars (NRC-Herzberg), Samantha Lawler (NRC-Herzberg), Paul Weigert (Western)

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