Canada’s involvement with space exploration ranges from sending one of our astronauts like the infamous Chris Hadfield to lending a hand or a robotic arm to the ISS. Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that Canada will contribute a smart robotic system to NASA’s Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway (LOP-G) program.
Cool, so what’s Canada contributing eh?
It will include a new robotic arm called Canadarm3 and other tools and specialized equipment that will be used by said arm. What’s exciting about this announcement is that Canada is the first country to officially sign on to the Lunar orbital gateway program. Why this is exciting is it sets a precedent that Canada is serious about contributing science and technology to this gateway as well as encouraging businesses to innovate and kids get excited about the future of the Canadian space industry.
The LOP-G program is not only a big deal for Canada, but for space exploration in general. It’ll be the next generation of the ISS except it’ll be 1/5 the size of the ISS and will orbit the Moon. Furthermore, it’ll have a science laboratory, test site for new tech, a rendezvous point for exploration of the Moon, mission control for the Moon missions, and future stepping stones to Mars.
How much will Canada fund?
Canada will be funding $2.05B over 24 years and estimates $100 million to Canada’s GDP. Included in that is a program called LEAP which costs $150M over five years. LEAP is a great program that I am excited about. Let’s take a look at what else Canada has in store for space exploration.
Canada refuelling innovation and future youths
As mentioned previously, the LEAP program is going to be fantastic. It’ll allow companies to develop new technologies that will help humans get to the Moon and stay alive on the Moon. NASA has been encouraging businesses to innovate for years and it’s worked out fantastically with NASA spinoff.
For our future youths, there is a new program called the Junior Astronaut Initiative. It’s shocking but wonderful to think that from grades 6-8 is when organizations like the Canadian Space Agency or NASA start to recruit for future exploration missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. In fact, Prime Minister Trudeau, astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons gave a talk to a school. Check out the full video below:
I’m excited to see Canada back at the top with space exploration involvement and think the next 10 years will be very exciting times. You get to look forward to witnessing the Moon landing live streaming in full HD, see numerous unmanned missions to Mars, and a historic manned mission to Mars in the next 15 years. There will be no other time in human history where they’ll be able to witness these many “firsts.” So keep your eyes peeled for more news and updates as well as seeing humans advance the space frontier.