02/07/2014 10:55 EST | Updated 04/09/2014 05:59 EDT

Canada's new space program aims to inspire future generations

The government of Canada is repaving its path to the final frontier.

Industry Minister James Moore announced Canada's revamped space policy framework on Friday morning at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. 

He was joined by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) president and former chief of defence staff Walter Natynczyk, as well as Canadian astronauts Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques.

The new space policy framework includes emphasizing the private sector to support space activities and working with international partners "to pool data for mutual benefit and obtain services and technologies that would otherwise be unavailable."

The government is also committing another $17 million into the James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2018 as the successor to the famed Hubble Space Telescope. 

A Canadian space advisory council will also be established, to be comprised of "stakeholders in the public and private space domain" and chaired by the CSA president. 

The government is committing to continue Canada's Astronaut Program, to have Canadians aboard future space laboratories and research centres, leaving the door open for future Chris Hadfields.

During Hadfield's mission in 2013, more than 100 scientific experiments were conducted on the International Space Station.

Canada's space industry employs about 8,000 people and contributes $3.33 billion to the economy each year. 

Friday's announcement signals a renaissance for the CSA, which was hit by blistering budget cuts over the past few years. 

In December, Moore said the government would reveal Canada's new space plan in 2014, in response to a report written by former cabinet minister David Emerson. The report criticized the country's space program and said the agency responsible had "floundered" for a decade.