Aerospace companies Canadensys and MDA Ltd were selected by the Canadian Space Agency to propose rover designs for the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) Lunar Rover Phase A. Both companies will have to design, develop, and test a rover that can withstand the harsh conditions on the lunar surface, comprise equipment that can help it navigate through rough terrain, and hold instruments that will address high priority science and exploration questions, such as “are there water-ice deposits buried beneath the surface in regions of the lunar poles that are never exposed to sunlight?”
The companies have up to eight months to complete their design and make their case to the Canadian Space Agency. Following this deadline, the Canadian Space Agency will decide which Canadian aerospace company will be propel Canada forward in lunar exploration.
To read more information about LEAP and the awarded lunar rover contracts, click on the links below: – LEAP – Contracts
In September 2021, a team from Western University, led by Dr. Gordon Osinski, travelled to Mistastin Lake located in Newfound & Labrador to conduct new lunar analogue geologic field work and two train two astronauts: Canadian Space Agency astronaut Joshua Kutryk and NASA astronaut Matthew Dominic.
Mistastin Lake is a 28-km complex impact structure that formed ~37 million years ago. It was selected by Dr. Gordon Osinski for astronaut training because the landscape and geology of the impact structure resembles that of impact craters on the surface of the Moon. Gordon and his team, will train the astronauts in sampling, data collection, and honing their tool proficiency and expeditionary skills in preparation for their future lunar space missions in the mid to late 2020’s.
Joining the Western team is Dr. Cassandra Marion, who is a former Western University PhD student and now science advisor at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
To learn more about the Mistastin deployment, check out this article and follow the team members Twitter accounts.
Mission Control Space Services Inc, based in Ottawa Ontario, has been awarded #3.04 M from the Canadian Space Agency’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program to develop cutting-edge AI and robotic technologies for a new lunar mission.
The company, along with subcontractor Xiphos Technologies, will provide a flight computer payload on the ispace lander with an AI application that is capable of identifying types of rocks and geologic features on the lunar surface.
To learn more about Mission Control Space Services and their project, visit this link.
A press release on December 16th, 2020 announced the release of the Gateway Treaty, stating that a Canadian astronaut will be onboard NASA’s Artemis II mission to the Moon.
NASA plans to conduct its test mission of the Orion spacecraft to orbit the Moon before the end of 2022, and then plans to launch a crewed lunar orbital mission in 2023. This mission will have a Canadian on the crew. Four possible candidates for the mission include Canadian Space Agency astronauts Jeremy Hansen, David Saint-Jacques, Joshue Kutryk, and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons.
To learn more about this announcement, check out the news article here.