Moon exploration news

Canada partners in the next chapter in humanity's exploration of space

The Canadian Space Agency signs Artemis Accords

Signing of the Artemis Accords

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is working with national and international partners to write the next chapter of space exploration—sending humans to more distant destinations like the Moon and Mars.

Today, the CSA proudly joined other space agencies – NASA, the Australian Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Luxembourg Space Agency, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, and the UK Space Agency – in signing the Artemis Accords. This commitment is an important first step towards ensuring safe and sustainable exploration beyond Earth's orbit.

CSA President Lisa Campbell signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of Canada.

CSA statement:

Canada is happy to be part of this group of space-faring nations committed to conducting deep-space exploration missions in a safe and sustainable manner and in full compliance with the Outer Space Treaty.

Canada's space sector is gearing up for missions to the Moon and beyond. We are a proud partner of the Lunar Gateway, to which we are contributing Canadarm3 – a smart robotic system. We are also funding science and technology development in fields like artificial intelligence, robotics and health, through our Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program.

Canada recognizes the exciting opportunities presented by emerging exploration, science and commercial space activities. The set of principles outlined in the Artemis Accords represents an important first step towards ensuring that these missions are conducted in a safe, sustainable and transparent manner.

We will be consulting Canadians on these emerging space activities. Our goal is to determine how best to implement the principles of the Artemis Accords in a way that positions Canadian industry to leverage new opportunities, while ensuring we continue to meet our obligations under the Outer Space Treaty.

At the same time, we will continue working with the international community through the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

The Artemis Accords are an important achievement for safe and sustainable space exploration, but more work is needed to further solidify the framework for deep-space exploration activities, both nationally and internationally.

Canada is excited to be working with the international community as we safely and sustainably expand our exploration beyond Earth's orbit.

Thank you.

The Canadian Space Agency invests in Canadian lunar science and technology

The Aristarchus crater on the Moon's surface. (Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

As part of its efforts to prepare Canada's space community for Moon exploration, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is awarding seven contracts worth a total of $4.36 million to advance concepts for miniaturized rovers and autonomous science instruments.

Developing these key technologies will help enable Canadian science on the surface of the Moon. Funding for the projects stems from the CSA's Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP).

In , Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada was joining efforts to return to the Moon. In addition to fostering opportunities for Canada's space sector through LEAP, the CSA is contributing a smart robotic system, Canadarm3, to the Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the Moon as part of NASA's Artemis program.

Two contracts awarded in preparation for Canadarm3, Canada's contribution to the Lunar Gateway

Credit: NASA

The Canadian Space Agency has awarded two contracts for external robotics interfaces in preparation for Canadarm3, Canada's contribution to the US-led Lunar Gateway.

These interfaces will permit Canadarm3 to attach and operate on the exterior of the Gateway modules.

The first contract is awarded to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), a Maxar company. The contract covers concept and technology development activities of robotics interfaces for the "exploration large arm," or XLA.

The second contract is also awarded to MDA, a Maxar company. The contract covers concept and technology development activities of robotics interfaces for the smaller "exploration dexterous arm," or XDA.

The contracts have a combined value of approximately $7 million (excluding taxes).

For more information, please visit the Buy and sell Canada website.

Canada sets its sights on the Moon

Credit: ESA/NASA

As our planet's only natural satellite, the Moon has considerable pull – not only through its gravitational force, which sets the ceaseless rhythm of the tides, but also as a nightly reminder that other worlds wait to be explored. Fifty years after astronauts first set foot on the Moon's surface, humanity is once again setting its sights on our celestial neighbour.

Canada is proud to join the quest to return to the Moon. The United States-led Lunar Gateway will be the next major international collaboration in space exploration. It is an important part of an ambitious plan by NASA and the other International Space Station partners to send astronauts deeper into space and on to Mars.

Canada's commitment to participating in the Lunar Gateway aligns with our efforts to work in tandem with space agencies, commercial partners, and academic institutions. It is a testament to a shared belief that together, we can push the boundaries of what is possible.

Credit: NASA

Although a common vision drives us, we cannot ignore the challenges that lie ahead.

Sending humans to more distant destinations means longer missions and more time spent outside Earth's protective atmosphere. Crews and missions travelling farther from home will have to be self-reliant, operating with greater degrees of autonomy.

But the next chapter of space exploration is not simply about managing these and other risks. Embracing these new challenges also means seizing a horizon of opportunities for science.

Building a space station around the Moon will allow for a deeper understanding of the possible human health effects of cosmic radiation and solar storms; provide viable access to the lunar surface to conduct cutting-edge science and technology demonstrations; and offer an incredible vantage point for observations of the stars, our Sun, and our planet.

Credit : Canadian Space Agency/NASA

Canada is contributing a highly autonomous smart robotic system to the Gateway. Canadarm3 will use cutting-edge software to perform maintenance tasks, capture visiting vehicles, and enable science both in lunar orbit and on the surface of the Moon.

The Canadian Space Agency is gearing up for other potential roles in future lunar missions by fostering innovation in areas of strength for Canada, like artificial intelligence, robotics and health care technologies.

On the Moon and in the lunar vicinity, Canadian expertise will help humanity develop the technologies and cultivate the skills needed to live and work on another world. This knowledge will be foundational for human exploration deeper into the solar system.

Date modified: