Commemorating a quarter-century of Canadian astronaut and robotic achievements in space, the Royal Canadian Mint has released a new collector coin for the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Space Agency.
The silver coin, which features a holographic image of the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm and a spacewalking astronaut, was unveiled on Tuesday (Sep. 30) at the International Astronautical Congress in Toronto. Astronauts Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques were joined by other Canadian Space Agency and Mint officials for the reveal of the coin.
"And here it is!" wrote Saint-Jacques on Twitter, sharing a photo of him holding one of the new commemoratives.
"Wow!" added Hansen. "Royal Canadian Mint honors 25th anniversary of CSA and Canadian accomplishments with a collector coin." [No Limits for Canada's Astronauts (Video)]
Founded in 1989, the CSA administers Canada's activities in space, including recruiting an astronaut corps, operating Earth observation and science satellites, and contributing to the International Space Station. Among the CSA's high-profile accomplishments are the Canadarm2 and the multi-armed robot Dextre, which have helped to assemble and now assist in maintaining the space station.
"This year marks a milestone in Canada's space history as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the CSA," Walter Natynczyk, president of the Canadian Space Agency, said in a statement. "Our many accomplishments have built the foundation for a flourishing space industry and we are absolutely delighted that the Mint has captured Canada's leadership in space with such expert craftsmanship."
The coin's design features an achromatic hologram image of an astronaut with a Canadian flag patch floating above the Earth. The spacewalker is anchored to a foot restraint on the Canadarm2. In the background of the design, is the cloud-mottled blue surface of our home planet, backed by the black depths of space.
The hologram, according to the Mint, helps lend depth and movement to the coin's design, making it seem as though the astronaut is floating above the Earth.
"The Mint takes great pride in commemorating Canada's diverse and remarkable achievements," said Marc Brûlé, the Royal Canadian Mint interim president and CEO. "This special coin features exceptional holographic technology, which is a fitting tribute to the Canadian Space Agency as it has been synonymous with innovation since 1989."
The coin, which was produced in 99.99 percent silver and has a limited mintage of 10,000, retails for $119.95 (CAD, or about $110 US). It can be ordered directly from the Mint or, beginning on Oct. 7, will be available through the Mint's boutiques and global network of dealers.
The new coin is not the first of Canada's commemoratives — or currency — to feature the Canadian space robots or astronauts. The Royal Canadian Mint in 2006 issued coins that included a hologram of the station's robotic armand a portrait of spacewalker Chris Hadfield, who was the first Canadian to walk in space and later became the first from his country to command the space station.
And in 2013, the Bank of Canada began circulating its new five dollar bill, again featuring a Canadian spacewalker and the Canadarm2, as well as the Dextre robot.
For more information or to order, see the Royal Canadian Mint’s website at: www.mint.ca.