Countries from around the world are getting ready to send people beyond the International Space Station (ISS) and into our solar system. Canada is investing in our space program to support initiatives that will create hundreds of jobs for Canadians, unlock new markets for our businesses, and help us answer important questions about our planet, our universe, and ourselves.
The Lunar Gateway
The United States-led Lunar Gateway is an international collaboration in human space exploration. About one-fifth of the size of the ISS, it will orbit the Moon and serve as a:
- science laboratory
- test site for new technologies
- meeting location for exploration to the surface of the Moon
- mission control centre for operations on the Moon
- future stepping stone for voyages to Mars
The Gateway is expected to be fully functional in the Moon’s orbit around 2026.
Canada’s contribution to the Gateway will be a smart robotic system – Canadarm3 – that will include a robotic arm, equipment, and specialized tools. This advanced system will help maintain, repair, and inspect the Gateway. It will move equipment, support spacewalks, assemble and deploy scientific instruments, and handle scientific samples collected on the Moon’s surface.
This system will help us develop breakthrough technologies that do not exist today, just as past space robotics led to the neuroArm – the world’s first robot capable of performing high-risk surgery on previously inoperable tumours – and the Image-Guided Autonomous Robot (IGAR) that helps with the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program
The Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) new Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program will help Canadian businesses and academic institutions use and test new technologies in lunar orbit and on the surface of the Moon in the fields of health, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The program will spur innovation and new technologies that have applications here on Earth, and will help Canadians get prepared for the jobs of tomorrow in the new global space economy.
Junior astronauts initiative
Through the CSA’s new junior astronauts initiative, Canadian youth will develop teamwork and communications skills while taking part in activities related to space, science, and technology. Top-performing participants will attend a space camp with astronauts at the CSA’s headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, and learn how they could have a role in future Canadian space missions.